7th Annual Spring Conference – Registration Open

Please Join Us For Our 7th Annual Spring Conference


Thursday – April 27, 2017

11am – 4:30pm

Friendship Village of Bloomington

8100 Highwood Drive, Bloomington, MN 55438 


11:00 am – Registration, Vendor Tables & Networking
11:45 am – Lunch Served
12:00 pm – Introductions & Speakers

Participants Will Learn

  •  Key risk factors for caregiver burnout
  •  How to connect with community resources
  •  Caregiver techniques

Keynote Speaker

  • Paul Blom, Co-Owner and CEO of Right at Home,
    In Home Care and Assistance

Guest Speakers

  • Nicole Rennie, PT, GCS
    Owner of Senior Abilities Unlimited, LLC
  • Marypat Habernas, BS Pharm, Pharm D, CGP, CMTM
    Owner of Rxangels
  • Kate Stellmach Freiert
    Attorney with Maser, Amundson, Boggio, Hendricks P.A.

Registration Now Open!



** 3.0 CEUs Provided **

Caring for Our Loved Ones – and Taking Care of Ourselves

Because we are living longer than ever before, we are also seeing a swell in the number of people who are caregivers for their aging loved ones. There are around 15 million individuals in the United States who spend time providing unpaid care to someone with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, or another type of condition that affects memory. What’s more, there are 3 million people over the age of 75 who are caregivers for other seniors, helping them with daily tasks such as eating, bathing, and going to the bathroom. On average, these caretakers over age 75 spend 34 hours per week in their role, according to a study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute.

As these statistics suggest, people in the United States invest amazing amounts of time, energy, money, and lost wages in caring for aging loved ones. The work is often more taxing than first anticipated. If you are caring for an aging adult, you must monitor your stress level. Stress affects not only the quality of care you provide, but your well-being, too. Caregivers commonly experience bouts with exhaustion, depression, weight loss or weight gain, and troubles with sleep because they put the needs of their loved one first without attending to their own. Being a caregiver can take such a toll that when one spouse serves as caregiver to the other, the spouse receiving care outlives the caregiving spouse 67% of the time.

Thankfully, there are ways to alleviate some major challenges of providing care. First, be sure to plan. Meet with an Elder Law attorney about Long-term Care Planning. It is best to do so before you or a loved one need care, but no matter what stage you are in, the attorney stands ready to work with you in developing a plan for care and to help you navigate the coinciding financial and personal costs. Speaking with an Elder Law attorney and following through with a Long-term Care Plan will help overcome a second obstacle: managing stress as a caregiver. Remember, it is important for caregivers to care for themselves, too. Do something you enjoy every day, do not skip your doctor appointments, and be okay with asking for and accepting help.

Minnesota – Not Florida, Not Hawaii – Is Healthiest State for Seniors

America’s Health Rankings Senior Report rated Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation for adults aged 65 and over — beating out Hawaii. And that retiree and snowbird haven, Florida? It came in 28th. The report grades states on 34 individual measures ranging from the amount of physical activity to prescription drug coverage to flu vaccinations. New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts round out the top five states. Minnesota stands out in a number of key indicators beyond volunteering. Seniors in the state have the lowest prevalence of cognitive problems, and they visit the dentist often. Seth Boffeli, spokesman for AARP Minnesota said the report underscores that decades of proactive efforts have paid off. He says Minnesota was ahead of the curve in moving towards community-based living for seniors and away from institutionalized nursing home care, when possible. “We saw early on that you could treat three people in the community for the same amount that it costs to put one person in nursing home,” Boffeli said. But, when needed, the state’s nursing home quality also scored high, according to the report. Another key indicator for Minnesota was a low rate of seniors facing “food insecurity” — a lack of access to sufficient and nutritious food. “We have made real efforts to increase the number of seniors who are eligible…for the state’s food assistance program to actually enroll,” said Lucinda Jesson, state Human Services Commissioner.

Source/more: Kaiser Health News

Ed.: Yet another reason to love my home state!

Recent Studies Show That A Blood Test Predicts Alzheimer’s

Researchers from Georgetown University and Rochester University (NY) recently published the results of a study that may significantly impact a doctor’s ability to foresee oncoming Alzheimer’s Disease.

Read More→

Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • The largest cost in the care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease is in long-term care in a nursing home. The average monthly cost of a nursing home in Minnesota is in excess of $5,000.00.
  • In Minnesota there are nearly 200,000 people who are caregivers for persons with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In the United States there are an estimated 5.4 million people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 1 in 8 older Americans has Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Nearly 1/3 of all persons with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease live alone without caregivers nearby.
  • The proportion of people with Alzheimer’s disease doubles every 5 years after the age of 65. For people over the age of 85, one out of every 2 people have dementia or some form of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care valued at $210 billion for persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
  • Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the United States in 2012.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
  • Alzheimer’s disease is among the top 10 diseases in the United States that cannot be prevented or cured.

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease:

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, work or leisure.

4. Confusion with time or place.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.

6. New problems with words in speaking and writing.

7. Misplacing thinks and losing the ability to retrace one’s steps.

8. Increase in poor judgment.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.

10. Changes in one’s mood or personality.

Lessons Learned for the Care Provider Team (Part 2 of 2)


The GP recently modified a prescription given by the nephrologist and changed the dosage of Sophie’s blood pressure medication. Even though Sophie’s grandson knows what medications she has, he is not sure that she is actually taking them.

Sophie and her grandson live together. Grandson works during the day and is frequently out in the evening. Grandson cooks dinner for Sophie when he is home in the evening.

It took the combination of Sophie’s grandson, two daughters and daughter-in-law to piece together information about Sophie as to what was happening at home and with her care providers. In the end, Sophie was fine and her medications were adjusted to avoid this situation happening again.

What my friend learned from this event is as follows:
1. Perhaps more than one person should be on the health care directive, either acting together or as an alternate.
2. The health care directive should be reviewed more frequently and discussion should include Sophie and her family. (Sophie’s health care directive was executed 20 years old.)
3. The health care proxy should be able to be contacted and available. The proxy was unavailable for some time.
4. The family needs to develop a plan for Sophie’s care.
5. Someone needs to monitor Sophie’s medications and set up the medical alert bracelet.
6. The family needs to discuss the role of the grandson in living with Sophie.
7. Communication among family members and organization of Sophie’s care is an ongoing responsibility.

Kris L. Maser
Attorney at Law

Lessons Learned for the Care Provider Team (Part 1 of 2)

Another uneventful Sunday was planned by a friend of mine. She was to meet Sophie, her 90 year old mother-in-law, at church for the Sunday service. But this Sunday didn’t go as

Kris Maser Attorney at Law

planned. Sophie arrived late and found her daughter-in-law already in the pew. The church service began with the call to prayer and as the congregation stood, Sophie collapsed in the pew.

911 was called, the paramedics arrived and Sophie was taken to the hospital. A decision was made to keep Sophie overnight in the hospital for observation and further tests. At the hospital, the daughter-in-law discovered that although she thought her cell phone was up to date on all the family’s contacts, it wasn’t. A call was placed to a family member to locate other family members and the health care proxy.

The grandson arrived at the hospital, then one daughter, then much later a second daughter (the health care proxy). In the interim, daughter-in-law is asked a number of questions about Sophie’s health status. The daughter-in-law couldn’t answer most of the questions.

In the course of this hospitalization they learned that daughter #1 takes Sophie to her general practitioner, daughter #2 takes Sophie to her nephrologist. Daughters are often mad at each other and don’t always communicate with each other.

To be continued…

Your Vote Counts!

I can’t stand it anymore.  I open the paper, turn on the television, the radio, or pick up the telephone and I am bombarded with campaign ads. And I assume this can only get worse after Labor Day as we head in to the home stretch towards the election in November.

In the last election for the president 75 million eligible Americans chose not to vote.  That is roughly 36% of our eligible voting population. This year every House seat and 33 senate seats are open, in addition to the Presidency.  The next set of elected officials will be making decisions about our health care, social security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs that could affect all of us.

I might be crabbing now about the deluge of political campaign advertising that is invading my life but as my kids so aptly say “put up or shut up”.  I guess that applies to me.

It is time for me to get down to business and research the candidates, figure out who are the best people I want to elect into office and then go and vote. This may be a very close election for many of the positions currently open.   Al Franken finally won his seat in the Senate by 312 votes, nearly 8 months of recounting the ballots and a court Challenge.

Each of us has the right to choose who makes the decisions that run this country.  No matter who we are, our vote counts.  Value your vote. Get out there and do it.  Then we can celebrate a period of time when there will be no campaign ads,  until the next election cycle.

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