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Area agencies are available to help caregivers

As one year closes and another begins, we want to wish all the caregivers out there the best for the New Year. May the wonderful moments of the year past fill you with peace as you move forward on your caregiver journey. Please never forget we are here to help. Sincerely, Dakota County Social Services, Dakota County Communities for a Lifetime, DARTS, Hastings Community Education, Hastings Family Service, Hastings Ministerial Association, Hastings Senior Center, Oak Ridge Assisted Living, Park Ridge of Hastings, Regina Medical Center, United Way of Hastings.


Please plan to join us on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Last winter, 10 Hastings-serving agencies met with a group of Hastings caregivers to talk about how we, as a community, could better support the caregivers among us. Now, we'd like to invite caregivers to meet with us once again and let us know how we are doing and how we might do more. If you are a caregiver for an older adult, please plan to join us for a light dinner and conversation from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that evening at Tilden Community Center, 310 River St. Please RSVP by Jan. 31 to 651-480-7670 so we can plan dinner.

If you would like information about advance care directives or help completing one with your loved one, contact Rev. Peter Morlock, advanced care planning chaplain at Regina Medical Center. He can be reached by calling 651-480-4587.

One caregiver's reflections on caring for older loved ones:

Caring Reflection:

The Upside of Worry

Caregivers, I've found, are prone to worry. Perhaps it just goes along with the territory of being in a caregiving situation -- someone depends on you, so you worry about that someone. Or maybe worriers are naturally drawn to caregiving roles. Whatever the reason, I see worrying caregivers everywhere.

And you know what? I think worry is underrated. In the extreme, it's a serious problem that can deeply disrupt a life. But plain old run-of-the-mill worry has an upside. I've had plenty of practice with it recently, and, rather than be frustrated by my unsuccessful attempts to turn it off and live in the moment, I've decided to focus on its positive attributes. Here are a few:

Worry helps me anticipate possible outcomes. Thinking ahead can lead me toward positive action, and when I take action, I feel more empowered.

Worry prompts me to get informed, and when I have information I feel more capable.

And sometimes, when the worry starts to take over, it compels me to reach out. After sharing my worries with someone I trust, I always feel relieved. Always, always, always.

(Editor's note: Beth's complete online journal can be found at:


For a resource guide for service providers who can help in your caregiver journey, please stop by the Hastings Senior Center in the Tilden Community Center, or go online to:

If you would like to submit a question or concern about your own caregiving experience, and get direct, one-to-one information and advice from a licensed social worker and eldercare advisor, please visit: or call 651-455-1560.

This section of the Star Gazette is a resource for family and friends helping an older adult. We hope you find this section useful, and if you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to hear them. Please contact Colleen