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…

“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…

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…

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…

Long-term care experience helps guide family through aging journey

Laura Salonek’s 90-year-old grandmother was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. She received radiation to shrink the masses in her lungs, but she cannot talk without coughing, and her eight children are needing to find services to help support her care. “I am thankful for my experience and the knowledge I’ve gained from working in long-term…

Working in long-term care means having a lasting impact

“Seniors are our wisdom keepers,” says Mary Nell Zellner, a senior health care consultant based in St. Paul, Minnesota. “They are our legacy.” Mary Nell says that of all the states she has been blessed to work, she feels Minnesota has a value system that prioritizes our people. “We are here to help elders in…

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.…

25 years caring for residents with passion and love

Sevelle Kamara says her kids remark that she’s always smiling when she comes home from work. “I tell them, ‘When you do what I do, you understand how it is,’” says Sevelle. “I love what I do.” Having worked as a trained medical assistant (TMA) at Good Samaritan Society-Special Care Community in Robbinsdale for over…

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…

Caring for mom through memory loss

Apple Valley resident Lauren Edstrom helped her mother move into assisted living and then into memory care two months later. Lauren’s mother now lives in a residential care home for women with memory loss. For Lauren, the most rewarding part of the journey through aging with her mom has been forgiveness. “I now understand her…

Making memories every day as a TMA

“I don’t think a day goes by that there’s not memories made,” says Jean Happke, a trained medical assistant (TMA) at Pierz Villa in Pierz, Minnesota. “I have taken seniors out for a ride around the block, or to look at Christmas lights. There’s a resident who wanted to go through her closet, so we…