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2016 contract awards help provide support to caregivers in Southern Minnesota

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS of MN) has long been committed to making life better for older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers. This year, with help from contract awards by the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MNRAAA), more caregivers will receive respite and support while loved ones in their care will experience positive social interaction essential to wellbeing.

With contract awards for caregiver supports, LSS of MN Caregiver Respite Services will move forward with plans to expand caregiver services and provide monthly caregiver discussion groups. Now, caregivers in Brown, Jackson and Sibley counties can find a supportive network of people to share experiences and information. Visit for a complete list of support groups by location.

“We are so thrilled to receive these awards from the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging,” said Tara Giese, senior program manager of Caregiver Support and Respite for LSS of MN. “Caring for a loved one can be a physically and emotionally demanding role. Many times, caregiving is a 24/7 commitment with little to no breaks - time off to recharge is essential to maintaining a balanced life. These awards help make it possible for our staff and wonderful volunteers to provide respite care and support, affording caregivers much needed time to run errands, attend appointments and, most importantly, rest. We are so appreciative of MNRAAA’s recognition and support of our work.”

Contract funds from MNRAAA will also strengthen efforts to recruit AmeriCorps volunteers to offer in-home respite care, helping caregivers provide quality care for their loved ones while maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. 

Minnesota’s Department of Human Services reports that 736,000 Minnesotans, or one in six people, provide regular care or assistance to a friend or family member who has a health problem, long-term illness or disability. In 2015, LSS of MN Caregiver Support and Respite provided 11,069 hours of respite care, 2,045 counseling sessions, support groups for 577 attendees and 1,200 consulting sessions to caregivers in Minnesota.

For a comprehensive list of all services for older adults, visit or call the Senior LinkAge Line at 1.800.333.2433.

About Lutheran Social Serve of Minnesota

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota offers a wide variety of human support services relating to the basics of life — food, shelter, safety, physical and emotional wellbeing.  The nonprofit organization, headquartered in St. Paul, serves one in 65 Minnesotans yearly with operations in 300 Minnesota communities, and employs 2,300 people. For comprehensive information about the organization’s statewide services, visit

About Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging
As the designated area agency on aging for 27 counties in southwest Minnesota, MNRAAA is a catalyst in building communities where seniors live with dignity, mutual respect and shared responsibilities across generations and cultures. Additional information can be found by visiting

Editor’s Note: MNRAAA funding provides Caregiver Respite Services in Brown, Jackson and Sibley Counties. Caregiver Services in Brown County are receiving partial funding from the United Way of Brown County Area.