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…

A lifelong passion for long-term care

One summer in college, Annette Thorson thought about working on a dude ranch in Montana, but her mother didn’t approve. Instead, Annette took a job at a local nursing home, and found her lifelong passion. She started working in laundry and then became involved in activities. “I just fell in love with it,” says Annette.…

Minnesota needs to face aging – here’s how we can do it

The need to face aging is undeniable and unprecedented. Minnesota isn’t ready to support the one million seniors who will soon call our state home. That’s why we must all work together now to ensure our elders will receive the care and services they need as they age. Legislative session begins tomorrow, February 20, and…

The fifth and final Face Aging Principle

In order to successfully address the care needs of our rapidly growing senior population, we need to find more efficient ways to deliver quality care to all seniors. There will be 56% more seniors in Minnesota by 2030. That’s why we all need to consider the fifth and final of the Face Aging Principles. Principle…

23 years caring for seniors and loving it

Abigail Ashamu grew up with many family members in the health care field but didn’t want to be a nurse until she moved to the United States. When she found out she was pregnant, Abigail visited a free clinic where she and her husband were living in Washington, D.C. “The nurses offered to bring me…