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…

2018 Employee of the Year: a year full of hard work and empathy for seniors

Mark Stemmer has proven how far hard work and empathy can take someone in life. For the past five years, Mark has worked as director of environmental services at All Saints Senior Living Center in Shakopee, where he oversees the maintenance and emergency/safety protocol of the 57-unit apartment complex. He is also responsible for developing…

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…

Minnesota caregiver receives national recognition for service to dementia patients

Word was spreading at senior care community Friendship Village of Bloomington that one of its professional caregivers would be receiving national recognition for her work. The CNA of the Year Award, given by the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP), is one of the most prestigious for caregivers who work with residents with dementia.…

The rewards of caregiving as a lifetime career

Working in the long-term care profession has allowed Jennifer Hissam to have meaningful relationships with the elderly. “To be a part of later years with older adults has meant the world to me,” says Jennifer, who explains that she lost her dad at a young age. “My children have not had the experience of having…

Minnesota is swimming in the deep sea of the caregiver shortage

Growing up in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, Margo Paplow often visited the local nursing homes where her mother worked as a nurse.   As far back as she can remember, Paplow knew she wanted to work in medicine, so when she turned 15, she began to work with her mom at the nursing home…

Loving our seniors means empowering our caregivers

“I have a mom who has dementia,” says Gladys Aakre, RN and Director of Home Care at SilverCreek on Main in Maple Grove. “This is why I’m really drawn to taking care of our seniors.” Walking the aging journey with her mother has helped Gladys understand the importance and the value of professional caregivers. Glady’s…

Making senior care where everyone wants to work

As a young professional himself, 23-year-old Casey Ward wants Minnesota’s young people to know how rewarding and impactful a caregiving career is. In September 2017, Casey became administrator at Good Samaritan Society in International Falls, a town of 6,000 in northern Minnesota. The facility provides home care services, including skilled nursing, personal care and therapy.…

Parkinson’s changed my life; an unexpected journey in caregiving

Heidi Weinberg started her caregiving career in a rather untraditional and unexpected way. As a professional in public administration and non-profit work, she never expected to work with seniors until she switched careers to personal training a little over six years ago. Weinberg is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin,…