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…

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…

Simple ways to age more nimbly

People sometimes get a little intimidated by the juxtaposition of the words karate, exercise and older citizens. No need to be worried. Karate or other forms of exercise can be pretty easy once you get the hang of it. For instance, one very popular piece of advice for new students to my class is: “Do…

What growing old in Minnesota means

What does it mean to grow old in Minnesota? We thought this would be a good question to ask during May, which is Older Americans Month. Most likely, if you are a Minnesota senior or know a Minnesota senior, several things come to mind. Having endured many long and frigid winters, Minnesota seniors are resilient.…

Celebrating Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, a time to celebrate the many ways seniors have helped build our families, cities, industries and quality of life. Their dreams, hard work and love have created a legacy we now enjoy – and they’re just getting started. As Minnesota’s aging population grows more rapidly than ever before, older adults…

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…

Caring for seniors through integrative therapy

Kendra Willey said she was employed from the time she was 14 years old, but she never really loved work—until she started working with seniors. A friend recommended that Kendra work as a dietary aid in college, and she began working at a skilled nursing facility in Bloomington, Minnesota. “I looked forward to going to…

Principle 4: Let’s help professional caregivers succeed in the jobs they love

Principle 4 of the five guiding Face Aging Principles highlights that caregiving is a valued career – let’s help our professionals succeed in the jobs they love. Professional senior care is a critically essential and profoundly rewarding career. We all benefit when senior caregivers have just compensation and opportunities for continuing education and career advancement.…

Putting it all together

When was the last time you put together a puzzle?  When I was growing up, my father and many of my six siblings spent hours working on puzzles. As the family rebel, I found it pointless to spend time making something that was just going to be taken apart and put back in a box.…

Greater Minnesota Getting Older First

Greater Minnesota is at the leading edge of an unprecedented demographic shift affecting the entire state – and the nation as a whole. For example, a staggering 37% of adults in Aitkin County were age 65 or older as of 2015. That percentage is projected to jump to 47% by 2030—meaning almost half of the…