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…

Stop to visit with an elder this holiday season

Speaking with your elders might get you thinking – what did Grandma and Grandpa get for Christmas? It might have been a piece of fruit, a wooden toy their father carved for them, a book, a dress or a pair of shoes. Take time to visit and have these conversations with older loved ones in…

Loving our seniors means empowering our caregivers

“I have a mom who has dementia,” says Gladys Aakre, RN and Director of Home Care at SilverCreek on Main in Maple Grove. “This is why I’m really drawn to taking care of our seniors.” Walking the aging journey with her mother has helped Gladys understand the importance and the value of professional caregivers. Glady’s…

Caregiver gives long-term care finances a personal side

Diana Flores describes herself as “a different type of caregiver.” Her goal is to see Minnesota seniors gain a better understanding of their financial needs during their Golden Years and find a way to achieve them. As the Business Office Manager at Volunteers of America’s Maplewood Care Center, she helps incoming seniors and their families…

Making senior care where everyone wants to work

As a young professional himself, 23-year-old Casey Ward wants Minnesota’s young people to know how rewarding and impactful a caregiving career is. In September 2017, Casey became administrator at Good Samaritan Society in International Falls, a town of 6,000 in northern Minnesota. The facility provides home care services, including skilled nursing, personal care and therapy.…

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…

Caring for a senior loved one is the most important opportunity you could have

Missy Jenner of Grand Rapids was inspired by her strong relationship with her grandparents to become a professional senior caregiver –  a career that would span more than 40 years. Missy remembers her grandmother’s perseverance and dedication to fighting cancer and becoming a great cook regardless of her circumstances. “My grandma had her right arm…

Lifelong educator Scott Rohr finds his passion in senior care

In the fall of 2015, Scott Rohr’s parents passed away 70 days apart – in the same room and the same bed. During the final stages of their lives, Scott saw something in the caregivers who provided critical support to his parents. He was moved by how every day they treated them with kindness and…

First in Minnesota: High school gerontology course changes perspectives on aging

About 18 months ago, Julie Mundahl, a family and consumer sciences (FACS) teacher at Buffalo High School, had a meeting with a group of local business leaders to discuss career development for her students. One of the topics was the rising demand for professional caregivers in Buffalo and across Minnesota. By 2025, one million Minnesotans…

Minnesota senior, nurse and family caregiver reflects on her career

Shoreview resident Judy Anderson has seen the world of senior care through various perspectives. As a professional nurse, she regularly cared for seniors during her 36-year career. As a daughter, she helped care for her mother during her last years until she passed at the age of 100. And now, at the age of 70,…