Aging while caring for aging loved ones

Ruth Kivela, a resident of Virginia, Minnesota, began to experience the aging journey when she married her late husband in 2004. Ruth was 59 and her husband was 64. Her husband was a disabled veteran of the Air Force and didn’t let health problems get him down. “A wonderful, wonderful man who always had a…

Ensuring mom gets the care she needs to age well

Samantha Shields, a resident of St. Paul and employee at Regions Hospital, is the daughter of a Minnesota senior. Samantha began the aging journey with her mom five years ago when her mom was diagnosed with dementia. Navigating the care system can be challenging at times, says Samantha, but it’s rewarding to know her mom…

My dad’s aging journey taught me how to love selflessly

“I became a better person in caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s,” says Cindy Lou Ferris, a family caregiver for her father, who passed away from Alzheimer’s. The most rewarding part of the aging journey with her father was being able to give back. “I learned how to selflessly love,” says Cindy. “In some small…

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…

How elder loved ones influenced me to pursue caregiving

For me, getting into the senior care profession came about because of loved ones. My elderly grandmother stayed in her own home as long as she could until she needed more support. She moved to a long-term care facility and it was inspiring to watch how my parents and aunts and uncles cared for her.…

Supporting an elderly parent: the beautiful and tragic

Missy Jenner, a resident of Grand Rapids, cared for her elderly mother in her older years. Her mother passed away several years ago, and the caregiving experience left a profound impression on Missy. One deeply rewarding part of caring for her mother was her mom’s need for Missy to be with her. After a fall…

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…

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…

Helping parents navigate getting older

Sandra Burklund wants decision-makers in our society to know the importance of implementing policies that recognize that we’re all part of the aging population and we’ll all eventually be faced with caregiving needs. “Not all are fortunate to have a family support system to help navigate aging challenges,” says Sandra. Sandra’s parents both receive care…

Sandwich generation: don’t forget about you during the holidays

If you’re a member of the “sandwich generation,” or the generation raising children while caring for aging parents, the holidays may feel more stressful than peaceful. Perhaps you’re juggling working a full-time job, spending time with your kids, shopping, baking, wrapping gifts and accompanying your parents to doctor appointments. Or perhaps your senior loved ones…