76-year-old Minnesotan engages lawmakers on aging issues

Cary Giese remembers one moment at a forum he attended with former Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto. Cary asked everyone in the room if they had long-term care insurance. “One person – an 80-year-old woman – raised her hand. Other people asked, ‘What is that?’” Cary recalls. It confirms what Cary has come to believe…

Family and a great health care team make all the difference

Arlene Arnold used to say she would never grow up, but somehow it happened. As a senior from Montgomery, a city of about 3,000 people in southern Minnesota, Arlene understands how important it is to walk the aging journey with those you love. Support from her devoted family and a great health care team has…

Face Aging MN goes to the Minnesota State Fair

Over two million people attended the Minnesota State Fair this year – a new record. Minnesota’s senior population is not far behind. By 2030, more than 1.25 million Minnesota adults will be age 65 or older, or more than 25 percent of the adult population. On Aug. 30, two members of the Face Aging MN…

What I’ve learned about grief after losing my spouse

After a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s, my husband Bob passed away in October of 2015. Today would have been our 25th wedding anniversary. I know the grief will never go away, not fully. But I find comfort and gratitude in the love we shared. The words I wrote in my journal five years ago, when Bob…

At 99, “Mr. Smooth” wows crowd at the Dakota

He’s still got it at 99. Local jazz luminary Irv Williams, known as “Mr. Smooth,” played his saxophone for a large crowd at the Dakota Club in Minneapolis on Aug. 21. Throughout his nine-decade career, Irv has played at the Dakota countless times – but this was a party in honor of his 99th birthday,…

Talking over the fence: the importance of community

Growing up in Faribault, Minnesota, Roxanne Cornell says her family home had a revolving door of kids and neighbors. “We’d make dinner for the neighborhood. That’s just the way it was. Older adults have always been a big part of my life because of how I was raised,” says Roxanne. She remembers when she was…

Irv Williams: 99-year-old jazz legend – and Minnesota treasure

Irv Williams remembers a woman knocking on the door of his apartment at Episcopal Homes in St. Paul as he played his saxophone several years ago. “That was beautiful!” the woman said. “What did you play?” “I was warming up,” Irv replied. He laughs as he recalls the woman’s next question. “She said, ‘Can you…

Aging while caring for aging loved ones

Ruth Kivela, a resident of Virginia, Minnesota, began to experience the aging journey when she married her late husband in 2004. Ruth was 59 and her husband was 64. Her husband was a disabled veteran of the Air Force and didn’t let health problems get him down. “A wonderful, wonderful man who always had a…

The more we talk about aging, the more we see it

Roxanne Cornell believes the key to facing aging in Minnesota is talking about it. “I think the more we talk about it, the more we see it, which is a good thing. It’s a call to action.” At 63, Roxanne is a clinical social worker of over thirty years and former life-care planner for a…

Local WWII vet thrives among friends, family and fellow service members

Fred Marwig lived through the Great Depression and served in World War II, then raised eight children with his wife. Today, at 93, Fred swims three times a week, drives a motor scooter around the neighborhood, and plays poker, dominoes and cribbage with his friends at SilverCreek on Main in Maple Grove. He also fishes,…

Getting older but not feeling old

Jill Ballard of Randolph Township, a community of about 500 residents in southeast Minnesota, says one of the positives of aging is having the time to more fully embrace life. “Having time to explore new things, volunteer, enjoy my family and teach fifth-grade church school is the best part about getting older,” says Jill. “The…