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.”…

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…

One benefit of aging: having a strong sense of what matters

Velma Ostman says the best part of getting older is having more established priorities. As a senior from Mountain Iron, a town of about 2,800 people on the Iron Range of Minnesota, Velma admits that one challenge of aging is finding well-paying, interesting employment. After all, not everyone retires at 65 or even 75. Velma…

Minnesota senior living manager of the year Carrie Soto is here to help seniors and their families

Five years after starting her career at the Good Samaritan Society in Luverne, Senior Housing Manager Carrie Soto continues to make an impact serving Minnesota seniors. Carrie believes her compassion for the tenants and their families has led her to administer outstanding care by providing a true sense of belonging and trust. “I love getting…

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…

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…