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Want to tell a story?

Do you have a story to tell? For the past six months, we have been following Beth's caregiver journey. Many have commented on how insightful and encouraging Beth's reflections have been.

What about your story? Perhaps others would benefit by hearing snippets of your caregiver journey. Are you a working caregiver? Are you a male caregiver? Are you a long-distance caregiver? Each journey is unique, yet caregivers share many joys and concerns. Please consider contacting me (Colleen Fritsch from DARTS at 651-234-2222) if you are willing to contribute your thoughts and experiences. I'll ask you a few questions, write up a paragraph or two about what you share, and then let you read it before I ever put it in the paper. But together, we will support and enrich one another.


Estate, Medical Assistance, and Funeral Pre-Planning

This event is part of Coffee & Conversation and this session is tonight, March 21, at Tilden Community Center. Join the conversation from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. "Funeral Lady" Brenda Schultz, funeral pre-planning consultant will talk about funeral options; putting money aside, how to make changes in your plans once it's in place and changes in the funeral industry. A reservation is requested, so please call 651-480-7670.

Memory loss support group

The Memory Loss Support Group meets the third Tuesday of each month from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the private dining room at Regina Medical Center. Contact Kim Schrader at 651-404-1383 for more information.

Vision loss support

The Vision Loss Support Group meets the fourth Thursday of each month from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the activities kitchen at Regina Medical Center. Contact Kim Schrader at 651-404-1383 for more information.

Reflections on caring for older loved ones

The heartbreak of brand loyalty: He's tried them all, and this brand is the favorite by far. It's a necessary item that I'm glad to supply, but the favorite brand was getting harder to find. Sometimes it would be on the shelf, and sometimes its space would be empty. Every shopping trip for the last several months has included a fingers-crossed pass down that particular aisle.

Last week my neighborhood Walgreens had one package. I quickly put it in my cart, lest some other cunning caregiver snap it up, and went in search of a salesclerk. "Do you have any more of these?" I asked. He went to the stock room, and returned with a shake of the head. "No, we don't have any more, and won't be carrying them in the future."

"Why not?" I implored.

"The manufacturer stopped making them," he said flatly, clearly unaware of the importance I'd imbued on this situation.

"Oh, no," was all I could say. In my head, I was on a rant. There must be some mistake. How could they do that? How cruel and unthinking! The young clerk's voice interrupted my internal tirade. "Ma'am, the store on Snelling shows it has five in stock." So, three stores later, I'd managed to hoard seven packages in the trunk of my car. I could probably get a fortune for them on eBay.

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

Guide available

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 a caregiving story to tell, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Colleen Fritsch at DARTS, 651-234-2222 or