It takes a strong village to care for our seniors

“My parents are snowbirds and go to Arizona every winter,” says professional and family caregiver Deb Trygstad. Deb lives in Erhard, Minnesota, a small town about 40 minutes south of Detroit Lakes and a 2016 population of 150 people. In preparation to come home from Arizona, Deb’s mother fell and broke her hip and shoulder.…

Keeping family close through the aging journey

Bobbi Peterson and her mom, Joan, are walking through the aging journey together. Joan receives care at the Country Meadows of Milaca in a town of about 3,000 people in north central Minnesota. “She’s in assisted living and needs help with her medications,” says Bobbi. Bobbi emphasizes that it’s important for families and communities to…

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,…

Starting the financial conversation with loved ones

Are you and your loved ones prepared for financial questions that will arise along the aging journey? Conversations about finances can feel uncomfortable, but open discussions are essential in preparing for the future. It’s important to review steps to prevent fraud and misunderstanding. The financial conversation also includes talking about responsibilities for if your aging…

My dad’s aging journey taught me how to love selflessly

“I became a better person in caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s,” says Cindy Lou Ferris, a family caregiver for her father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s. The most rewarding part of the aging journey with her father was being able to give back. “I learned how to selflessly love,” says Cindy. “In some small…

How elder loved ones influenced me to pursue caregiving

For me, getting into the senior care profession came about because of loved ones. My elderly grandmother stayed in her own home as long as she could until she needed more support. She moved to a long-term care facility and it was inspiring to watch how my parents and aunts and uncles cared for her.…

Training the next generation of passionate long-term care leaders

Last year, professor Steve Chies taught a class of 48 students who were entering a one-year practicum to train as long-term care administrators. “Out of the 48, 46 of them were millennials. It gave me great hope in our sector that we have good leaders coming up in millennials,” says Steve. “They’re passionate, enthusiastic and…

I just turned 65. Now what?

I turned 65 last December and threw a party for myself. Sounds strange to “throw a party for yourself,” but at 65, you really can do whatever you want. For this birthday, I was either going to coast in under the radar, or just tell everybody – I’m a senior now! The truth is, I…

You gave your innovative ideas – we listened

Thank you for submitting your bold and innovative ideas on how Minnesota can face aging. Three common themes emerged from the responses we received: Ensuring the right care and services for seniors to stay in their homes and remain as independent as possible.   Bolstering health and wellness services for seniors and people of all…

Minnesota senior enjoys time with five generations

The aging journey looks different for each senior and every family. For Jeanne Kragt-Barchinger, a senior from Milaca, the best parts of getting older are spending time with family and not having to get up early and work hard all day. “I have 20 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren to love and enjoy,” says…