A love for taking care of the elderly

Kathleen Currie has helped provide care to seniors for over 25 years. “I love taking care of the elderly,” says Kathleen. Kathleen’s favorite part of caregiving is being able to improve the daily lives of those she serves. “The best part is interacting and making their day better,” she says. As an advocate for aging…

Providing solutions for senior care in rural Minnesota

“Serving the senior population has been a passion of mine for years,” says Julia Conroy, owner of Julia’s Place in Hancock, Minnesota, a small town an hour southwest of Alexandria. Julia’s Place offers adult day services for the elderly, including adult foster care and transportation services. Julia was inspired to start her own adult day…

Working in long-term care means having a lasting impact

“Seniors are our wisdom keepers,” says Mary Nell Zellner, a senior health care consultant based in St. Paul, Minnesota. “They are our legacy.” Mary Nell says that of all the states she has been blessed to work, she feels Minnesota has a value system that prioritizes our people. “We are here to help elders in…

25 years caring for residents with passion and love

Sevelle Kamara says her kids remark that she’s always smiling when she comes home from work. “I tell them, ‘When you do what I do, you understand how it is,’” says Sevelle. “I love what I do.” Having worked as a trained medical assistant (TMA) at Good Samaritan Society-Special Care Community in Robbinsdale for over…

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…

Starting the financial conversation with loved ones

Are you and your loved ones prepared for financial questions that will arise along the aging journey? Conversations about finances can feel uncomfortable, but open discussions are essential in preparing for the future. It’s important to review steps to prevent fraud and misunderstanding. The financial conversation also includes talking about responsibilities for if your aging…

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…

Staying active and proactive

Staying active – both physically and socially – provides a type of “insurance” different from your typical health insurance plan. Staying active is being proactive. It’s taking control of whatever you can, despite any limitations, in order to age as well as possible. Most importantly, being proactive creates a feeling of empowerment across many different…

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…

Simple ways to age more nimbly

People sometimes get a little intimidated by the juxtaposition of the words karate, exercise and older citizens. No need to be worried. Karate or other forms of exercise can be pretty easy once you get the hang of it. For instance, one very popular piece of advice for new students to my class is: “Do…

What growing old in Minnesota means

What does it mean to grow old in Minnesota? We thought this would be a good question to ask during May, which is Older Americans Month. Most likely, if you are a Minnesota senior or know a Minnesota senior, several things come to mind. Having endured many long and frigid winters, Minnesota seniors are resilient.…