Training the next generation of passionate long-term care leaders

Last year, professor Steve Chies taught a class of 48 students who were entering a one-year practicum to train as long-term care administrators. “Out of the 48, 46 of them were millennials. It gave me great hope in our sector that we have good leaders coming up in millennials,” says Steve. “They’re passionate, enthusiastic and…

I just turned 65. Now what?

I turned 65 last December and threw a party for myself. Sounds strange to “throw a party for yourself,” but at 65, you really can do whatever you want. For this birthday, I was either going to coast in under the radar, or just tell everybody – I’m a senior now! The truth is, 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…

You gave your innovative ideas – we listened

Thank you for submitting your bold and innovative ideas on how Minnesota can face aging. Three common themes emerged from the responses we received: Ensuring the right care and services for seniors to stay in their homes and remain as independent as possible.   Bolstering health and wellness services for seniors and people of all…

My transition to hospice

Recently, I made the decision with my family to start hospice care. The extra support is helping me with things I’m not able to do anymore. It’s private and one-to-one, and I’m still in the comfort of my own room. Don’t you worry – my spirit and sense of humor haven’t gone anywhere. Sometimes the…

Minnesota senior enjoys time with five generations

The aging journey looks different for each senior and every family. For Jeanne Kragt-Barchinger, a senior from Milaca, the best parts of getting older are spending time with family and not having to get up early and work hard all day. “I have 20 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren to love and enjoy,” says…

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…

Coming alongside families through joy and loss

Reverend Daryl Jacobson says it’s a blessing to support seniors and their families through joy and loss. “You see them face tough circumstances and so many of them are able to meet the challenges and rise above those circumstances of life,” says Daryl, who spent thirty years in pastoral ministry before becoming a chaplain at…

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…

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…

A lifelong passion for long-term care

One summer in college, Annette Thorson thought about working on a dude ranch in Montana, but her mother didn’t approve. Instead, Annette took a job at a local nursing home, and found her lifelong passion. She started working in laundry and then became involved in activities. “I just fell in love with it,” says Annette.…