Help seniors face aging with a little bit of understanding

“People need to be more patient and understanding with seniors,” says Susan, a senior from Harmony, a town of about 1,000 people in southern Minnesota. Susan believes it’s important for communities to recognize that many elderly Minnesotans have worked very hard during their lifetime and some do not have help from family. Susan’s favorite part…

Aging doesn’t always go as planned

The best part of aging for Judy Reher, a senior from Richfield, Minnesota, is not having to use an alarm clock. Judy and her husband have both battled cancer in the six years since they retired. “I used to think it was just ‘mind over matter’ and ‘you’re only as old as you feel.’ I…

Don’t let stereotypes write the narrative of elders

Aging brings joy to many seniors in different ways. For Mari Jenson of Little Canada, the ability to spend time with her grandchildren is the best part about getting older. Though Mari has not needed care or services herself, she recognizes that age means some day-to-day activities change as she grows older. Getting exercise and…

Award-winning Minnesota senior says volunteering saved her

When it came time for nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Senior Award, Judy Peterson of Grand Rapids was an obvious choice. Judy visits patients with Itasca Hospice; she oversees the receptionist volunteers at Itasca County Tax Aide, which assisted more than 1,000 clients during the 2017 season; she directs ElderCircle’s free grocery shopping and delivery…

Minnesota senior, nurse and family caregiver reflects on her career

Shoreview resident Judy Anderson has seen the world of senior care through various perspectives. As a professional nurse, she regularly cared for seniors during her 36-year career. As a daughter, she helped care for her mother during her last years until she passed at the age of 100. And now, at the age of 70,…

At 95, Minnesota artist proves “creative people do not retire”

One of the most influential Minnesota artists of the 20th century, Bettye Olson, has always known that art would be an essential part of her life. “I’m 95. I’ve been around and alert — and I’m still painting,” says Olson. “I never retired and never will retire either. Creative people do not retire.” Being a…

Preparing for the future: an accountant’s perspective on aging

When Ron Woltjer of Little Falls was in his 20s, he was a high school teacher. When he switched careers and became an accountant 32 years ago, he picked up 300 of his former students as clients. Now, the young kids who were once his students are grandparents. “I’ve aged, but my clients have aged…

World War II veteran Dick Heyne recalls his distinguished service and a life well-lived

Richard “Dick” Heyne is a part of Minnesota’s Greatest Generation. A decorated veteran of World War II, Heyne served heroically as a B-24 Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner with the United States 11th Air Corps, 404th Bomb Group. In honor of Veteran’s Day 2018, Face Aging MN would like to recognize Top Gunner Richard…

Passing on wisdom: aging expert shares insight after 35-year career

As the executive director at the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging for the past 25 years, Linda Giersdorf has experienced the rapidly growing aging population in Minnesota first hand while working with organizations to provide solutions to help our seniors age with the proper resources, support and care. Last month, Giersdorf retired after working…

Planting seeds of wisdom into younger generations

Life is a journey filled with learning and reflection, and for Carole Perkins, planting seeds of wisdom into younger generations is the best part about getting older. “Investing in each other’s lives has helped me age well,” says Carole, who lives in Le Roy, a town of about 1,000 people in southeast Minnesota. Aging is…

Making healthy choices can help you age well

“Aging is a very personal thing,” says Anita Olson, a senior from White Bear Lake. “You have to decide what your future will look like.” Anita recently retired after 42 years in the workforce, and now enjoys stepping away from the work world and getting to know herself better. She makes a point of exercising…