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…

Ensuring mom gets the care she needs to age well

Samantha Shields, a resident of St. Paul and employee at Regions Hospital, is the daughter of a Minnesota senior. Samantha began the aging journey with her mom five years ago when her mom was diagnosed with dementia. Navigating the care system can be challenging at times, says Samantha, but it’s rewarding to know her mom…

Let’s honor our elders with the care and services they need

Rachel Cummings is the director and owner of Cummings Treasured Time Adult Day Center in Deerwood, Minnesota, a small town about 30 minutes northeast from Brainerd with a population of 520. Rachel started her caregiving career as a nursing assistant in 1991. “I have always loved the hands-on caregiving,” says Rachel. “The best part is…

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…

Helping others is the best part

“The reward in the long run is worth every bit of time put into your job,” says Julia Urdahl, a CNA at Prairie Pines Community Assisted Living in Fosston, Minnesota.  Julia’s grandmother was a RN and told Julia that if she wanted to go into nursing, she needed to work as a CNA at a…

My transition to hospice

Recently, I made the decision with my family to start hospice care. The extra support is helping me with things I’m not able to do anymore. It’s private and one-to-one, and I’m still in the comfort of my own room. Don’t you worry – my spirit and sense of humor haven’t gone anywhere. Sometimes the…

Coming alongside families through joy and loss

Reverend Daryl Jacobson says it’s a blessing to support seniors and their families through joy and loss. “You see them face tough circumstances and so many of them are able to meet the challenges and rise above those circumstances of life,” says Daryl, who spent thirty years in pastoral ministry before becoming a chaplain at…

Helping parents navigate getting older

Sandra Burklund wants decision-makers in our society to know the importance of implementing policies that recognize that we’re all part of the aging population and we’ll all eventually be faced with caregiving needs. “Not all are fortunate to have a family support system to help navigate aging challenges,” says Sandra. Sandra’s parents both receive care…

Seniors karate chop aging stereotypes

The shocked intake of breath from the third degree black belt karate judge was frankly, very gratifying. We were there to judge my first class of senior citizens for their gold belts. The ages of the students ranged from 64 to 73 years of age—one had even had a hip replacement. None of the judges,…

Minnesota needs to face aging – here’s how we can do it

The need to face aging is undeniable and unprecedented. Minnesota isn’t ready to support the one million seniors who will soon call our state home. That’s why we must all work together now to ensure our elders will receive the care and services they need as they age. Legislative session begins tomorrow, February 20, and…

An incredible opportunity to collaborate

The demographic shift that is happening in Minnesota will bring transformational change that will impact us all. By 2020, there will be more citizens age 65 and older than there are school-age children. We must embrace this incredible opportunity, challenge conventional thinking and be more collaborative and creative in our planning to ensure a high…