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…

Making an impact on the Parkinson’s community

Kayla Roske’s passion for caregiving started in the wellness department. “I had the opportunity to work for Knute Nelson going through college and was able to see the impact that the community had with our wellness department,” says Kayla. “That’s what got me started and got me hooked – it’s been ten years.” As a…

Enjoying the aging journey with mom

“I think it’s important that we honor our seniors,” says Milaca resident Faye Thayer, daughter of a Minnesota senior. “They have much wisdom to offer us for our future.” Faye’s mother still lives independently but has begun to need daily check-ins and help with cooking and housekeeping. Faye says it makes all the difference when…

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…

“My life is completely changed”

Three years ago, Aynalem Bedaso left Dubai to join her family in Minnesota. Born in a small city in northeast Ethiopia, Aynalem (pronounced Eye-NAHL-um) grew up attending school and working odd jobs, but career opportunities were limited. When she was in her late twenties, she moved to Dubai, where she supported herself by babysitting and…

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…

A love for taking care of the elderly

Kathleen Currie has helped provide care to seniors for over 25 years. “I love taking care of the elderly,” says Kathleen. Kathleen’s favorite part of caregiving is being able to improve the daily lives of those she serves. “The best part is interacting and making their day better,” she says. As an advocate for aging…

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…

Local nurse advocates for elder Minnesotans

When Mollie Fragnito began nursing school at St. Catherine University in her thirties, she thought she would be the oldest person in her class. She was wrong. “I sat next to a lady who was 65,” says Mollie. “She had just retired and was going to become a nurse so she could take care of…