Wilder Foundation’s Maureen Kenney on senior care: “We’re all about relationship building”

(First of two parts) Maureen Kenney has lived in three worlds in senior care — as a professional caregiver, a leader in senior care and as a family caregiver. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Kenney spent several decades as a professional caregiver, including work at a residential group home and as a recreational…

Caregiver story map strikes a chord with Minnesotans

Since the debut of our caregiver story map, we have been overwhelmed with responses that reveal how deeply personal caregiving is for Minnesotans. Perhaps Gordon, who follows Face Aging MN on Facebook, said it best: “There are angels living with us here on earth, known as caregivers…we are privileged to have them in our midst.”…

A New Yorker finds her calling as a caregiver in Minnesota

Former New Yorker Diane Schmidt found her true home and calling when she visited Minnesota. Schmidt was born and raised in the city that never sleeps, but her life changed in 1988 when she decided to follow her parents and sister to Woodbury. “New York was wonderful in so many ways,” Schmidt said. “But if…

Minnesota couple continues 128-year legacy of compassionate senior care

St. Otto’s Care Center roots run deep in the town of Little Falls, Minn. The center was founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, whose tradition of caring for the elderly began in 1891. Today, it remains a vibrant part of the community, having evolved into a 93-bed skilled nursing center that offers long-term…

Caregivers need to feel valued and supported, too

During her 45 years in the healthcare industry, Barbara (Barb) Starch has worked in a variety of roles — from orthopedic nurse to clinical coordinator. Starch lived on a farm in northeastern South Dakota before moving to Montevideo when she was 13. Two years later, Starch got her first paying job in caregiving at a…

Seniors appreciate more family time

One benefit of aging is having time to reflect, says Vickie Crompton of Borup, a community of about 100 people in northwest Minnesota. “Reaching that point in life of appreciating everything more is the best part about getting older,” says Vickie. Vickie wishes more people had a better understanding about aging and the importance of…

Recognize the challenges and embrace the positives

Both as a caregiver and as an aging adult, Paula Manthey of St. Paul has been involved with a local outpatient clinic, open to anyone in the community who needs caregiving services. Through a lifetime filled with dedicated service, Paula is aware of the challenges about getting older. “It is challenging to stay active and…

One benefit of aging: having a strong sense of what matters

Velma Ostman says the best part of getting older is having more established priorities. As a senior from Mountain Iron, a town of about 2,800 people on the Iron Range of Minnesota, Velma admits that one challenge of aging is finding well-paying, interesting employment. After all, not everyone retires at 65 or even 75. Velma…

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…

Funding, awareness and advancement strengthen Minnesota’s caregiving workforce

The numbers are stark. By 2025, over 1,000,000 seniors will be living in Minnesota. By 2030, more than 25 percent of Minnesota’s adult population will be 65 or older. The growing senior population in Minnesota means an increasing need for professional caregivers across the state. For 24-year-old administrator Ursula Hagstrand, recruiting more caregivers means finding…

Addressing the need for more professional caregivers in Minnesota

Minnesota’s professional senior caregivers are on the front lines in long-term care, and Matt Pallansch worries there won’t be enough of them. As President and CEO of MN Signature Care in Little Falls, Pallansch knows that Minnesota is facing a boom in the population of its seniors and a shortage of those who can care…