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A few weeks ago, we released the results of a statewide public opinion poll commissioned by the Long-Term Care Imperative. The results were both fascinating and worrisome.

“These numbers are striking in the reality they depict. Minnesotans act as caregivers for loved ones while they are financially unprepared for their own long-term care needs,” said Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO of Aging Services of Minnesota. “We face a looming economic crisis as our population ages. Now is the time to advance real solutions that will protect access and quality of care for all Minnesota seniors and their families.”

At a very high level, four key themes emerged from the poll: 

1.    Minnesotans are not prepared to pay for their care.

2.    Access to quality senior care is a right, not a privilege.

3.    Caregivers (formal and informal/family) need more support and resources.

4.    Minnesotans support reform proposals that will achieve four key outcomes:

  • Improve care for seniors first and foremost
  • Address a looming crisis in our state
  • Improve conditions for caregivers
  • Improve the economy by delivering care more efficiency and strengthening the long-term care workforce

What do you think when you see these numbers? We know Minnesotans want to remain independent for as long as possible as they age, but we also know most won’t be able to pay for the care they need and want.

We’ll continue to post excerpts and additional findings from the Long-Term Care Imperative poll in the coming weeks – stay tuned.

Congratulations to Lisa Kalla, administrator at Johanna Shores – a Presbyterian Homes & Services community in Arden Hills. Lisa was one of nearly 150 amazing caregivers who submitted their stories to the Stars Among Us campaign during the 2012 Aging Services of Minnesota Institute. She is also the lucky winner of an iPad2!

Here’s what Lisa shared about why she is driven to serve Minnesota seniors:

What inspires you to serve?
What inspires me to serve older adults is truly the mutual satisfaction of helping someone. It sounds like a cliche but when you hold the hand of the dementia resident who is scared and see their fear dissolve, you really see you are more than anything a mission statement can describe, you are everything to that person.

Sometimes when we focus on the regulations and reimbursement, it is easy to get discouraged but then you think about how important you are to that one person you may have touched today and it inspires you to go on, to try to change systems, to get back to the reason you entered into this job and be with the residents and realize you being there is what matters most to them…that is what inspires me.

What does a career in older adult services mean to you?
A career serving older adults to me is a career of change. You change with resident acuity, you change with business needs, you change with the uniqueness each resident brings. I love working for a Christian organization that focuses on the residents needs and individual differences.

The most rewarding part of my job is figuring out how to balance excellent care, budget and resident individuality. Learning about resident likes, wants and hobbies and then implementing programs to really enrich the lives of the residents we serve. The most challenging is to see the residents we grow to love decline physically and mentally.

Take a few minutes to read the inspiring stories of caregivers who have dedicated their lives and careers to serving Minnesota’s seniors. These people are changing lives every day and we are so grateful they’ve chosen to share their talent and passion in the field of older adult services.

Submit Your Story Today!
We are still collecting Stars Among Us stories and displaying them in our online gallery – will you add yours to the collection? Aging Services will share these stories with lawmakers, community leaders and other organizations who are working together to support senior care in Minnesota.

Why do you serve older adults?

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Aging matters to all of us.

This blog will address the issues, questions, challenges and opportunities that surface as we work to meet the demands of an aging population.

It’s also a place to highlight the people and organizations whose passion, creativity and commitment are shaping the future of older adult services in Minnesota.

Everyone has a story about how aging impacts their life – we hope you’ll join the conversation and share your story.

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