On Wednesday, February 8, Sarah Beckius of Belle Plaine was named 2012 Caregiver of the Year by Aging Services of Minnesota – the highest honor awarded to Minnesota caregivers who dedicate their lives and careers to serving older adults. Beckius is a social worker who has spent her entire 31-year career at The Lutheran Home Campus in Belle Plaine. Currently, she serves older adults at The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine. Her career at the campus started at The Lutheran Home: Hope Residence, an intermediate care facility for people with developmental disabilities.
Governor Mark Dayton presented Beckius with her award at the Aging Services Institute, a gathering of more than 1,500 aging services professionals in Minneapolis. The Governor delivered remarks about the critical role of caregivers as the number of elderly in Minnesota grows dramatically.
“The Caregiver of the Year award is about honoring the very best of the best,” said Gayle Kvenvold, president and CEO of Aging Services of Minnesota. “It’s also an important opportunity to show Minnesotans the face of the people who care for our loved ones when we cannot. Sarah Beckius is the kind of caregiver we all hope will be there for us when we need help.”
Caregivers like Sarah Beckius are the unsung heroes in Minnesota’s health care system. The deep commitment, talent and contributions of caregivers like Beckius rarely receive the public recognition they deserve.
Watch the video tribute celebrating Ms. Beckius as 2012 Caregiver of the Year.
Beckius is a leader at The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine, mentoring and training fellow caregivers and selflessly taking on a wide range of duties to improve the quality of life for her residents. She is the first to lend a helping hand and is deeply committed to ensuring the dignity and independence of the older adults who live at The Lutheran Home.
“My work has become a part of me and I truly receive more than I give,” said Beckius. “I feel I can make a positive difference every day for our residents and families.”
Beckius has developed special expertise in dementia and Alzheimer’s care, training staff to better serve the growing number of residents living with these diseases. Beckius also attends to families with as much dedication and skill as she does residents. She hosts a community Alzheimer’s Support Group to help people understand the challenges their loved ones are facing and give them the tools to manage difficult, emotional situations. “For Sarah, this is her life’s passion,” said Dennis DeCosta, administrator at The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine. “It isn’t a job to her, it’s what she wants to be doing and we are so grateful to have her as a friend, colleague and leader for the past 31 years.
Aging Services of Minnesota is an association of over 1,000 organizations across the state dedicated to serving seniors. Our mission is simple – to improve the lives of Minnesota seniors and families by leading change and innovation in the field of older adult services.
They work with over 50,000 caregivers and serve more than 125,000 seniors each year in all of the places they call home, including senior housing communities, assisted living and care centers. Aging Services members are diverse but share a common focus on person-directed living, missions of service to their communities and choice in older adult services.
Aging Services is the state partner of LeadingAge and the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA).