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…

Minnesota couple continues 128-year legacy of compassionate senior care

St. Otto’s Care Center roots run deep in the town of Little Falls, Minn. The center was founded by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, whose tradition of caring for the elderly began in 1891. Today, it remains a vibrant part of the community, having evolved into a 93-bed skilled nursing center that offers long-term…

Caregivers need to feel valued and supported, too

During her 45 years in the healthcare industry, Barbara (Barb) Starch has worked in a variety of roles — from orthopedic nurse to clinical coordinator. Starch lived on a farm in northeastern South Dakota before moving to Montevideo when she was 13. Two years later, Starch got her first paying job in caregiving at a…

In some ways, aging means more freedom

Wendy Will reminds people that there’s enjoyment to be discovered when growing older. “Feeling freer to express my opinions is the best part about aging,” says Wendy, a resident of the 700-person community of Lanesboro in southeastern Minnesota. As she has gotten older, Wendy has become more aware of how senior care issues affect Minnesotans…

It’s important to care about what elders face

The best part of aging is retirement, says Jodi Gohmann. Jodi lives in the 1,700-person community of Clearwater. Jodi says she wishes people knew that it’s difficult to give up things like independence with age. Another challenging aspect of getting older for Jodi is sometimes feeling patronized, particularly in the way younger people regard her.…

Seniors appreciate more family time

One benefit of aging is having time to reflect, says Vickie Crompton of Borup, a community of about 100 people in northwest Minnesota. “Reaching that point in life of appreciating everything more is the best part about getting older,” says Vickie. Vickie wishes more people had a better understanding about aging and the importance of…

Recognize the challenges and embrace the positives

Both as a caregiver and as an aging adult, Paula Manthey of St. Paul has been involved with a local outpatient clinic, open to anyone in the community who needs caregiving services. Through a lifetime filled with dedicated service, Paula is aware of the challenges about getting older. “It is challenging to stay active and…

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…