Care Partners Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic

During these extraordinary times, we at Care Partners cherish each one of you. We are aware of both unique needs and gifts you bring to our community.  For those who are elderly, or living with chronic illness, this is the time for Care Partners, neighbors, family, and friends to support you, so that you can stay safely at home and not feel isolated.  You have lived through so many hard times and good days; thank you for your wisdom and resilience.

Caregivers—now you have new challenges in providing care and will need support if you become ill or need to quarantine. There is much you can teach us about taking care of yourself as you give, and   living with uncertainty.  Care Partners Volunteers—thank you for all the ways you continue to give and for knowing when you need to protect your own health.  You have taught us so much about the joy of giving.

Cook County—we are so thankful to serve a community that in the midst of uncertainty and hardship is so ready to rally, learn, pitch in and adapt for the good of everyone. Finally, and especially, we are grateful for our health care providers. Thank you for your foresight, diligence, care, bravery and hard work. Even as the measures of social distancing get old and create hardship, we know these measures are the best way that we can have your back.

A Good Time for Health Care Planning

In the face of all the fears and worries brought up by the COVID-19 pandemic, it can actually be reassuring and empowering to plan for what you would choose if you became gravely ill. Think through your options and choices. Talk to your family and friends. Do your homework.  Go to for lots of helpful information and links.

To make sure your wishes are known even if you can’t speak for yourself, complete a Health Care Directive, choose a health care agent, and send it to the clinic. Care Partners’ nurse can help you understand the form and  complete it. Call Care Partners staff at 387-3788. We can also send out forms and help you get them to the clinic.

Current Services

Care Partners’ office is not open to the public. Staff are working remotely, and will return calls and emails during office hours:  M-F, 10 am to 3 pm.  

Telephone Support:  Staff are offering caregiver coaching and care coordination and volunteers are keeping in close contact with clients over the telephone.

Rides will be carefully monitored. For now, they are limited to essential medical appointments after careful screening questions to make sure all involved are healthy and have limited exposure.

Delivering Supplies:  Care Partners volunteers will assist as possible with delivering supplies and completing important errands for individuals who need to stay safely at home.

Programs:  Memory Café and Caregiver Support Group are canceled at present. As this continues we may look for other ways to connect.

Please call Care Partners at 387-3788 or email us at if you have any questions, needs or concerns.  We’re happy to listen and help as we can.

If you wish to limit treatment options, have a high-risk chronic health condition or might choose to die at home, you should work now with your health care provider to complete a POLST form. Call the clinic to set up a phone or video appointment.

flowersDo you want help thinking about end-of-life, your legacy, or what you would want to resolve or say to your loved ones while it is easier to do so?  Talk to your minister or call Care Partners to connect with one of the trained End of Life Doulas.  Thank you! These efforts will relieve your mind and ease decision-making for your family and health care staff.

Making a Difference

Thanks to your support and our wonderful volunteers and staff, Care Partners was able support 110 senior clients in 2019 to stay in their homes and our community and navigate the challenges of aging and serious illness.

  • 44 Senior Rides clients received over 400 rides and logged 27,000 miles!
  • 40 caregivers received coaching & support.
  • 18 clients received care coordination/end-of-life care.
  • 23 clients received over 270 hours of chore assistance.
  • 23 clients received over 400 volunteer visits.
  • 58 volunteers donated over 2100 hours to provide companionship, rides and chore help.

In addition, Care Partners provided programs that increased awareness of Dementia, Health Care Planning, LGBT Elders, Aging Services and Caregiving.

 Help with Spring & Summer Chores

ChoreWe are hopeful that Care Partners Chore Volunteers can still get out and help seniors with clean-up around their yard and garden in June and July. If you’d like to help as a volunteer click here or give us a call. If you are a senior who could use help, click here or give us a call at 387-3788.

A Kindred Spirit

Any worries Care Partners volunteer Mary Ofjord had about her new companionship assignment melted away when she met with Chuck and his wife. Chuck not only liked art, he was an avid fisherman who had even built his own fly rods. Mary remembers thinking, “He’s a kindred spirit!”

Chuck had enjoyed oil painting for years, but a series of health issues left him with limited eyesight and mobility and he’d given up in frustration. Mary hoped that she could help him reclaim the talent that still lived within him by teaching him to paint using watercolors. She dug out her old brushes and other materials and began helping Chuck experiment with new techniques. “You may not have the same control that you had before all this,” she patiently reminded him, “but you can work with what you have now.”

Mary was impressed over the months with Chuck’s willingness to try new things. The last time Mary visited Chuck, he had started a new watercolor painting on his own. Mary recalled, “His wife was so happy – it’s the first time he’s done that since his health troubles started.” After reflecting for a moment, Mary added, “He’s given me a gift too – after years and years, I’ve also started to paint again. I even got to go out on the pontoon boat with them and ‘throw out a line’! I would encourage anyone who’s thinking about volunteering as a companion to give it a try. You’re not going to regret it. Go into it with an open mind. You’ll make somebody’s life better – and you’ll benefit too.”

Volunteer Opportunities

Care Partners depends on community volunteers to provide companionship, rides, and assistance with chores and errands. Check our web site for new training opportunities this summer and fall when we are able to resume these in-person services.

Volunteer needs during COVID-19:

Care Partners anticipates that it may need new, younger volunteers who are not in high-risk groups to help with deliveries, errands and telephone companionship for those who need to stay at home, especially if the need for precautions lingers. Call 387-3788 for more information about needs and opportunities.

Community Resources       

during COVID-19 as of April 1, 2020

Here is a list of some important phone numbers for those who don’t have internet access. Expect  to leave a message. Call Care Partners for updated information or help finding what you need at 387-3788.

Call  Sawtooth Mountain Clinic at 387-2330
if you have symptoms of COVID-19 such as cough, fever, or shortness of breath. The clinic will help you take care of yourself and those around you if you feel ill.

Arrowhead Transit 800-862-0175, option 8

Cook County Public Health 387-3620

North Shore Hospital 387-3040

Grand Portage Clinic 475-2235

The Hub “take out” meals 387-2660 
        & Meals on Wheels

Gene’s Foods 387-1212

Cook County Coop 387-2503

Johnson’s Foods 387-2480

Violence Prevention Center 387-1262


Making & Receiving Deliveries

Thank you to everyone for looking out for your friends and neighbors and bringing them the supplies they need!  There’s lots of conflicting information out there with COVID-19 about how to avoid infection.  But here are a few basic tips to keep in mind.

  • Keep the number of trips to someone’s home down by delivering as much as possible at once.
  • Call the person ahead of time so they know when to expect the delivery.
  • Drop off the items with minimum contact. Leave items left on the door step or between doors. (wipe off handle,) ring the doorbell, and then step back at least six feet.
  • Do not go into the home if it can be avoided.
  • If they do need help, make it quick and keep the 6 foot distance.
  • Wash hands or use sanitizer before, during and after delivery and avoid touching your face.

Home deliveryIf you are receiving a delivery, it is good to take some precautions. Wash your hands and work surface    before and after putting groceries or supplies away. Dispose of the delivery bags or boxes.  Remember to wash produce. If you want to be extra careful, disinfect hard containers or let items sit somewhere out of the way for three days before you unpack them.

Complete the Census!

CensusA significant amount of federal dollars & programs for Cook County are based on census data.

Visit:   OR call #844-330-2020

A Mindful Approach to Dementia Care

The mindfulness course with Michelle Barclay was reframed into a one-day workshop. Twenty participants practiced simple ways to provide care with awareness, connection and compassion.  Here’s a simple practice to begin a task with someone with dementia in a way that provides connection and empowerment. It may even save you time by creating better cooperation.

Sitting With

When the person is sitting or lying down, take the time to sit with the person first, before asking them to do anything:

  • Sitting With“May I sit with you?”
  • Wait for response
  • Sit, breathe, and observe
  • Connect
  • Proceed with task


Memory Cafe

Our 1st Memory Café!

Nine guests braved the cold to enjoy conversation, laughter,  goodies and a fun watercolor project.  Thanks to all who came, our wonderful café volunteers, and the Hub/Senior Center.

Stay tuned for news of when we can reopen the Memory Cafe either in person or virtually. For information call Christie at 387-3788.

Save the Date!  
Care Partners 5th Annual
Ice Cream Social & Quilt Raffle
Sunday, August 23,  2-5 pm 

New End of Life Services

Q: I understand that Grand Marais now has four trained Death Doulas—what is a Death Doula?

Death Doulas are a recent and welcome appearance in Health Care in the United States. We assist people in the dying process, much like a birth doula does for the birthing process. When someone is facing a chronic degenerative illness or terminal diagnosis, they can benefit from the support of death doulas in addition to the medical assistance they are receiving. We provide support primarily to the patient, but also their families, and others who surround them.

Q: Why would someone work with a death doula?

Our purpose is to provide emotional, social, and spiritual support as people go through the journey of the end of life. We provide deep listening; we offer respite to caregivers; we assist in legacy work and questions of closure; we engage in the quest to find meaning at end of life and to restore sacredness to dying. We also assist in creating the environment that the patient desires when they are actively dying through to the last breath. We are 


available to sit bedside with the patient through the dying process, which we call sitting the vigil.

The more time we have to work with the patient the better, but we can provide valuable support to people wherever they are in the dying process. We work as a team to provide care that is well rounded and attends to each person’s specific wants and needs.

Q: How would someone start the process?

We are working in collaboration with Care Partners and received additional training and backgrounding through them.  All inquiries and referrals can be made to Care Partners,  218-387-3788. They will start the process so that we can follow with a visit and work on a care plan.

The Doulas are planning presentations to help increase awareness about their work and confronting mortality including a Virtual Death Café on Monday, April 13, from 5:30—7 pm.  Look for more information on Care Partners website,

Making Warm Connections over the Telephone

phoneConnecting over the phone with friends, family and neighbors is vitally important at this time. But let's face it...reaching out by phone can also feel awkward. Care Partners Executive Director Kay Grindland offers her practical wisdom for "Making Warm Connections Over the Telephone." Click here. 

Thank You to all who Funded Care Partners in 2019!


Federal Older Americans Act grant from the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging, Live Well at Home Grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Scott Hawkins Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Cook County Community Foundation, Head of the Lakes United Way, Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Medica Foundation,  Northland Foundation, North Shore Health Care Foundation, Opp Hvidston Foundation, Victory Fund

Celebration Gifts in Honor of

Kelly & Paul Dahl
Anita Gavic
Jayne & Rick Johnson
Jean & Jane Ljungkull
Jack McHugh
Lorraine Peterson
Mary Ofjord
Sandy Stover
Ruthanne Vos


Gladys Anderson
Angela D. Cook
Darrellyn Barrett
Nancy Borson
Nedetta Buchheit
Marjorie Decker
John H. Eliasen, Jr.
Mary Alice Hansen
James Jacobson
Claire Judd
Lorry Massa
Walt Mianowski
Arnoldo Napadensky
Brad Ranning
Alice Fox Rudh
Clair Shaw
Stanley Suck
Jim West

Our Business Sponsors!

Angry Trout Cafe

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Blue Water Cafe

Cobblestone Cabins

Coldwell Banker

Cook County Whole Foods Co-op

First and Second Thrift Store

Grand Marais State Bank

Johnson's Big Dollar

Lake County Veterinary Clinic

Lamb's Resort & Campground

Lande Construction

Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior

Nordic Electric of Grand Marais, Inc.

North Shore Federal Credit Union

Red Pine Realty

Sawbill Canoe Outfitters

Security State Bank

Sivertson Studio, Gallery & Frame Shop

Sydney's Frozen Custard


Tuscarora Lodge & Canoe Outfitters



Sue Abrahamsen

Katie Anderson

Paulette Anholm

Treg & Denise Axtell

Mary & Roger Bebie

Barbara Belleman

Beth Benson & Lynn Wright

Tracy Benson
     & Pete Kavanaugh

Patsy & Bill Bernhjelm

Julia Bittinger

Linda Blaine & John Ottis

Beth Blank

Nora Bockovich

John & Barb Bottger

Emma Bradley

Penny & Tom Bradovich

Colleen Brennan

Judith Brisky

Richard Buchheit

William & Joan Burkhardt

Jean Bushman

Pat Campanaro & Stan Tull

Margaret Carlson

Mike Carlson

Lois Clay Quest

Jean Cochrane

Bobbie Collins

Judy Curtis

Nancy Dalbec

Tom & Dorothy Danielson

Suzanne Davies

Jenny Delfs & Jeff Kern

Shari & Jeff Denniston

Fred & Heather Derewenko

Mary Deschampe

Alicia Deschene

Steve Dobbelmann

Joan Drury

Carolyn Dry

Sharon Eliasen

Joyce Elvestrom

Polly Erickson

Cathy Everett

Lois Eyinck

Karen Fehr

Dan & Diane Fitzgerald

Dennis Fitzpatrick
     & Maryl Skinner

Karen Flolid

Anita Gavic

April Gerard
     & Megheen Jahren

Bernard & Mildred Gestel

Glenn & Chelly Gilyard

Don & Gerry Grant

Kathleen Gray-Anderson

Judith Gregg

Kay Grindland

Karen Halbersleben
        & Jack Miller

Ilena Hansel

Sue Hansen

Robert Haring

Carol & Peter Harris

Scott Hawkins

Emma Heath

Alyssa & Jonathon Hedstrom

Howard & Bonnie Gay Hedstrom

Ann Norquist Hegg

Barb Heideman

Bob Hewitt

Lesa Hofer

Carolyn Hollstadt

Marnie Hovland

Tyler Howell

William & Mary Lou Huron

Gail Huschle

Jay Hutchinson

Peter & Mary Igoe

Bob Irlbeck

Anita Jacobson

Amy & Peter James

Frances Jarchow

Geri Jensen

Sharon & Mike Jerabek

Janet & Gerald Johansen

Martha Johansen

Erik Johnson

Holly Johnson

Jayne & Rick Johnson

Kathleen Johnson

Lois Johnson

Nancy Johnston

Kitty Kelly

Beth Kennedy

Beth & Art Kidd

Nancy Koloski

Coralyn Koschinska

Rik & Sandi Krohn

Carla & Donald La Pointe

Patricia LaFreniere

Nancy & Jeff Larson

Ralph & Gerry Latham

Gary Latz

Jerry & Joan Lilja

Shirley Lindgren

Roger & Maxine Linehan

Jean Ljungkull

Michelle Lovaas

Donna & Orvis Lunke

Bill Lurton

Diane Marsyla

Gwendolyn Mattice

Ann Corley McDermott

John McElevey

Jack & Sandy McHugh

Judy & Terry Meath

Christopher Meehan

Betty Michaud

Marilyn Morris

B.J. Muus


Hyla & Arnold Napadensky

Yafa Napadensky
       & Bob Shannon

Randi & Rick Nelson

Phyllis Parker

Enola Patterson

Diane & Floyd Pearson

Joyce & Chuck Petek

Elizabeth Peterson

Judy & Gary Peterson

Mark & Mary Peterson

Lynn & Don Pietrick

Lou & Inger Pignolet

Daryl & Laura Popkes

Annie Possis

Karen Ranning

Deborah Rebischke

Robert Reed

Kathy Reeves

Virginia Reiner

Judy & Denny Renkiewicz

Sandra Riley

Donald Ring

Mary Jo Roche

Marilyn Rohlfing

Lynn & Mike Rose

Loretta Rosen

Michael Sampson
     & Cathy Nevers

Mary & Doug Sanders

Susan Scherer

Kurt Schierenbeck

Carolyn & Milan Schmidt

Suzanne Schweig

Maria Sheehan

Suzanne Sherman
     & Mary Ellen Ashcroft

Randy & Carolyn Sjogren

Fred & Fran Smith

Nancy Starr & Steven Nielsen

Loren & Becky Stoner

Sally Suck

Judy Swanson

Clare Terrizzi

Myra Theimer

Lloyd & Nancy Thorgaard

Kevin Treacy

Mary Vos

Ruthanne Vos

Elizabeth Wagner

Eleanor Waha

Linda Walker

Cydney Weiland

Karin & Craig Westgate

Ken & Donna Wielinski

Jim & Rebecca Wiinanen

Kimber Wraalstad

Jodi & Tom Yuhasey

Pamela Zalesky