Help seniors face aging with a little bit of understanding

“People need to be more patient and understanding with seniors,” says Susan, a senior from Harmony, a town of about 1,000 people in southern Minnesota. Susan believes it’s important for communities to recognize that many elderly Minnesotans have worked very hard during their lifetime and some do not have help from family. Susan’s favorite part…

Aging doesn’t always go as planned

The best part of aging for Judy Reher, a senior from Richfield, Minnesota, is not having to use an alarm clock. Judy and her husband have both battled cancer in the six years since they retired. “I used to think it was just ‘mind over matter’ and ‘you’re only as old as you feel.’ I…

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…

Stop to visit with an elder this holiday season

Speaking with your elders might get you thinking – what did Grandma and Grandpa get for Christmas? It might have been a piece of fruit, a wooden toy their father carved for them, a book, a dress or a pair of shoes. Take time to visit and have these conversations with older loved ones in…

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…

Caregiver gives long-term care finances a personal side

Diana Flores describes herself as “a different type of caregiver.” Her goal is to see Minnesota seniors gain a better understanding of their financial needs during their Golden Years and find a way to achieve them. As the Business Office Manager at Volunteers of America’s Maplewood Care Center, she helps incoming seniors and their families…

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.…

Don’t let stereotypes write the narrative of elders

Aging brings joy to many seniors in different ways. For Mari Jenson of Little Canada, the ability to spend time with her grandchildren is the best part about getting older. Though Mari has not needed care or services herself, she recognizes that age means some day-to-day activities change as she grows older. Getting exercise and…

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,…

Award-winning Minnesota senior says volunteering saved her

When it came time for nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Senior Award, Judy Peterson of Grand Rapids was an obvious choice. Judy visits patients with Itasca Hospice; she oversees the receptionist volunteers at Itasca County Tax Aide, which assisted more than 1,000 clients during the 2017 season; she directs ElderCircle’s free grocery shopping and delivery…

Caring for a senior loved one is the most important opportunity you could have

Missy Jenner of Grand Rapids was inspired by her strong relationship with her grandparents to become a professional senior caregiver –  a career that would span more than 40 years. Missy remembers her grandmother’s perseverance and dedication to fighting cancer and becoming a great cook regardless of her circumstances. “My grandma had her right arm…