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…

Mother and daughter share passion for long-term care

Shayla Mahmalji and Marti Brende carpool to work every day. Shayla works in human resources, and Marti works in social services, but both daughter and mother share a passion for long-term care and love their jobs at Aftenro Home in Duluth, Minnesota. “I’ve been in and around long-term care my whole life,” says Shayla. “I…

Helping others is the best part

“The reward in the long run is worth every bit of time put into your job,” says Julia Urdahl, a CNA at Prairie Pines Community Assisted Living in Fosston, Minnesota.  Julia’s grandmother was a RN and told Julia that if she wanted to go into nursing, she needed to work as a CNA at a…

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…

The privilege of impacting lives in senior care

Sharon St. Mary, Executive Director for Metro Minnesota with the Good Samaritan Society, found herself in a position not so unique to many career caregivers. When she wasn’t working in the field she loves, she was using her professional skills to care for her aging parents. “The fact of the matter is, we will all…

Coming alongside families through joy and loss

Reverend Daryl Jacobson says it’s a blessing to support seniors and their families through joy and loss. “You see them face tough circumstances and so many of them are able to meet the challenges and rise above those circumstances of life,” says Daryl, who spent thirty years in pastoral ministry before becoming a chaplain at…