Keeping family close through the aging journey

Bobbi Peterson and her mom, Joan, are walking through the aging journey together. Joan receives care at the Country Meadows of Milaca in a town of about 3,000 people in north central Minnesota. “She’s in assisted living and needs help with her medications,” says Bobbi. Bobbi emphasizes that it’s important for families and communities to…

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…

Let’s honor our elders with the care and services they need

Rachel Cummings is the director and owner of Cummings Treasured Time Adult Day Center in Deerwood, Minnesota, a small town about 30 minutes northeast from Brainerd with a population of 520. Rachel started her caregiving career as a nursing assistant in 1991. “I have always loved the hands-on caregiving,” says Rachel. “The best part is…

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…

Making memories every day as a TMA

“I don’t think a day goes by that there’s not memories made,” says Jean Happke, a trained medical assistant (TMA) at Pierz Villa in Pierz, Minnesota. “I have taken seniors out for a ride around the block, or to look at Christmas lights. There’s a resident who wanted to go through her closet, so we…

Empowering seniors and their loved ones to fight back against fraud

Scam artists looking to make a quick buck of off Minnesota’s rapidly growing senior population target older adults across the state. One out of five seniors has been the victim of a financial swindle. The most common scams targeting seniors are phone scams, timeshare resale scams and pension advance scams. If a senior is unsure…

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…

Caring for seniors through integrative therapy

Kendra Willey said she was employed from the time she was 14 years old, but she never really loved work—until she started working with seniors. A friend recommended that Kendra work as a dietary aid in college, and she began working at a skilled nursing facility in Bloomington, Minnesota. “I looked forward to going to…

Walking through the aging journey with mom

Having worked as an administrator at Maple Lawn Senior Care for 26 years in Fulda, Minnesota, Arlan Swanson says it’s interesting to be on the other side of long-term care. When his 90-year-old mother fell and broke her hip, he experienced senior care from the perspective of a patient’s family. Arlan says seeing his mom…