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…

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…

Passing on wisdom: aging expert shares insight after 35-year career

As the executive director at the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging for the past 25 years, Linda Giersdorf has experienced the rapidly growing aging population in Minnesota first hand while working with organizations to provide solutions to help our seniors age with the proper resources, support and care. Last month, Giersdorf retired after working…

Local WWII vet thrives among friends, family and fellow service members

Fred Marwig lived through the Great Depression and served in World War II, then raised eight children with his wife. Today, at 93, Fred swims three times a week, drives a motor scooter around the neighborhood, and plays poker, dominoes and cribbage with his friends at SilverCreek on Main in Maple Grove. He also fishes,…

Caregiving: It’s a Calling

Missy Keenan found her calling as a caregiver thirteen and a half years ago. Keenan, a CNA (certified nursing assistant), TMA (trained medical aid), Health Support Specialist, and Household Manager at Good Shepherd Lutheran Services in Rushford, Minnesota, says helping others is in her blood. “It’s I guess a calling. My dad was a nurse…

Occasionally caring for grandkids could boost your longevity

New research published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior suggests that seniors who occasionally help care for grandkids tend to live longer than seniors who do not care for young relatives. Study participants who did not have grandchildren but supported others in their community like adult children or neighbors also tended to live longer…

Caregiving: It’s About Compassion

When Staci Beranek was five or six years old, she visited her great-grandmother at an assisted living facility and the experience left a permanent impression. It helped inspire her to pursue a career caring for seniors, and she has now been a caregiver for almost seven years. As a CNA (certified nursing assistant) and TMA…

Caregiving: It’s About the Relationships

How would Lindsey Nelson describe being a caregiver? “The best way I can tell people who don’t work in healthcare is I go to work and have 65 grandmas and grandpas that I get to see Monday through Friday.” Nelson, a Household Coordinator at Three Links Care Center in Northfield, Minnesota, began caregiving at age…

Giving up the car keys

To many older people, and younger ones, too, driving is an active symbol of independence. Giving up the keys is a huge event, and one with which loved ones struggle. If you are concerned about an aging relative’s ability to drive safely, it is critically important to address the issue before an accident happens. In…

Mind-stimulating activities may reduce risk of dementia in aging brain

Activities like playing chess, making crafts, and socializing could help keep the aging mind sharp, new research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine shows. Nearly 2,000 seniors from Olmsted County in Minnesota participated in the study, ranging in age from 70 to 93. Researchers found that even among participants who carried a gene variation…

Caregivers: Sharing Sunshine

While I’m still a pretty independent gal, it’s nice to have others check on me. That’s why I’m thankful for aids like Sunshine who regularly drop by to see how I’m doing. As everyone here at my assisted living facility knows, Sunshine lives up to her name with her bright smile and warm nature. She…