A passion for helping others leads to innovative solutions in senior care

Since an early age Janelle Zimmerman knew it was in her blood to help others. Janelle’s parents both worked in long-term care throughout her childhood; her mom as a social worker and her dad as an administrator/regional director/purchasing director. “I have literally become my mom,” Janelle said with a laugh. “I started volunteering at the…

Scoop on Senior Care: Veteran journalist shares what she’s learned about dementia

Michele Munz is a veteran journalist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who specializes in revealing complicated social issues through the lens of the people who are impacted the most. Last year, Munz published an insightful and emotional series about one woman’s struggle with memory problems and how it highlights the issues of dementia, which is…

How one man changed my view on Alzheimer’s

I started my new role as an Administrator in July 2018 and during the first few weeks, a gentleman that sat across my office intrigued me. Norman Beeson reminded me of my grandfather. He was the type of guy you just wanted to hug and get to know. I often saw him wandering the hallways,…

Wilder Foundation’s Maureen Kenney on senior care: “Create communities across lifespans”

(Second of two parts) As we continued our conversation with Maureen Kenney, the Aging Services Director of the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, we asked Kenney to speak to the caregiving landscape in Minnesota – what’s working, what further action is needed and how all Minnesotans can better support caregivers. (Responses edited for length.) Q:…

Ten lessons Grandma taught me

For my grandmother’s 90th birthday, I created a little book to celebrate. I called all my cousins and sisters and gathered all the important lessons she taught us. Though she is gone now, there is no doubt that Grandma helped shape who I am today and how I feel about others and the world. Here…

Senior living leader opens up about caregiver workforce challenges

As the Executive Director of Vista Prairie Communities, Rachael Evers sees firsthand the rewards and challenges of caring for seniors. But Evers worries about the growing demand for caregivers who provide the daily support many seniors need to age with dignity and respect. With Minnesota approaching one million residents 65 or older, she’s already seen…

Wilder Foundation’s Maureen Kenney on senior care: “We’re all about relationship building”

(First of two parts) Maureen Kenney has lived in three worlds in senior care — as a professional caregiver, a leader in senior care and as a family caregiver. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Kenney spent several decades as a professional caregiver, including work at a residential group home and as a recreational…

Caregiver story map strikes a chord with Minnesotans

Since the debut of our caregiver story map, we have been overwhelmed with responses that reveal how deeply personal caregiving is for Minnesotans. Perhaps Gordon, who follows Face Aging MN on Facebook, said it best: “There are angels living with us here on earth, known as caregivers…we are privileged to have them in our midst.”…

Mayo Clinic doctor diagnoses aging in Minnesota

Dr. Paul Takahashi has seen a lot of change in his 20 years as a primary care geriatrician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Many seniors are living longer and in better health than ever before, which means emphasis is often placed on home and community-based services to help seniors live independently into their golden years.…

A New Yorker finds her calling as a caregiver in Minnesota

Former New Yorker Diane Schmidt found her true home and calling when she visited Minnesota. Schmidt was born and raised in the city that never sleeps, but her life changed in 1988 when she decided to follow her parents and sister to Woodbury. “New York was wonderful in so many ways,” Schmidt said. “But if…

2018 Employee of the Year: a year full of hard work and empathy for seniors

Mark Stemmer has proven how far hard work and empathy can take someone in life. For the past five years, Mark has worked as director of environmental services at All Saints Senior Living Center in Shakopee, where he oversees the maintenance and emergency/safety protocol of the 57-unit apartment complex. He is also responsible for developing…