Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”

 In-Home Care Maple Plain, MN

How does In-home Senior Care in Maple Plain, MN work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Maple Plain, MN

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Maple Plain, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Maple Plain, MN gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Maple Plain, MN

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Maple Plain,MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Maple Plain, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Maple Plain, MN

SJU Finishes Second at Minnesota Golf Classic

Final ResultsMAPLE PLAIN, Minn. – Saint John's golf fired a pair of even-par rounds and finished second out of 15 teams at the Minnesota Classic on Sunday, Sept. 11, at Pioneer Creek G.C. (par 72) in Maple Plain.The tournament's host, Bethel took first place with a three-round total of 866 (+2). SJU was second at 874 (+10), followed by Luther (+13, 877), Wisconsin-Eau Claire (+18, 882) and Gust...

Final Results

MAPLE PLAIN, Minn. – Saint John's golf fired a pair of even-par rounds and finished second out of 15 teams at the Minnesota Classic on Sunday, Sept. 11, at Pioneer Creek G.C. (par 72) in Maple Plain.

The tournament's host, Bethel took first place with a three-round total of 866 (+2). SJU was second at 874 (+10), followed by Luther (+13, 877), Wisconsin-Eau Claire (+18, 882) and Gustavus Adolphus' second team (+27, 891).

SJU jumped two spots into second place after Sunday's first round, but Bethel extended its lead to 20 shots with a repeat of Saturday's first-round score, a 5-under par 283. The Johnnies gained 12 shots on the Royals in the third and final round.

Saint John's led the tournament with 52 birdies and went -21 on the course's four par-5 holes over the three rounds.

Junior Nate Loxtercamp (Richmond, Minn./Melrose Area) carded a 3-under par 69, thanks to three birdies and an eagle on the par-4 No. 16 in Sunday's first round (the tournament's second round) and followed that with four more birdies and a 73 (+1) to tie for 17th (+1, 217) out of 110 golfers. His individual finish was sixth among the NCAA Division III competitors, as the tournament included 30 golfers from Division I programs.

A pair of juniors from Waconia, Sam Berger and Blake Schuler tied for 30th with a 220 (+4) each (tied for ninth among Division III). Berger started the day with a 76 (+4) and went -2 on his final four holes to end the tourney with an even-par 72. Schuler, meanwhile, started with a 72 and recorded an impressive eight birdies to post a career-best 68 (-4) in the final round. He was a collective -9 on the four par-5 holes and led the Division III golfers with 16 birdies in the tournament.

Senior Thomas Gutzmer (Jordan, Minn.) tied for 38th (+7, 223) and sophomore Andrew Boemer (Eagan, Minn./St. Thomas Academy) tied for 58th (+12, 228).

SJU Blue tied with Gustavus' varsity for seventh at 913 (+49) and was led by junior Nate Bauer (Andover, Minn.), who tied for 43rd (+9, 225).

The Johnnies return home to host their annual fall invitational next Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18. The first round is scheduled for tee times starting at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Cloud C.C., followed by a 9 a.m. shotgun start Sunday at Blackberry Ridge G.C. in Sartell.

Fly angler Evan Carruthers, far from his Minnesota roots, makes his name on the tarpon fishing circuit

Like ordering a Budweiser at a wine bar, saltwater fishing seems misplaced in the land of lakes. Yet it goes down easier when a Minnesota fly fisherman is one of the sport's best.Close in memory but far removed from his days growing up in Morris, Minn., watching game fish TV shows and tossing a line at a family lake spot, Evan Carruthers is dominating the tarpon fishing circuit. And it's a team sport.Unlike, say, the bass pros, the pursuit of the fast, powerful "silver king" of the ocean is a two-person affair. Carrut...

Like ordering a Budweiser at a wine bar, saltwater fishing seems misplaced in the land of lakes. Yet it goes down easier when a Minnesota fly fisherman is one of the sport's best.

Close in memory but far removed from his days growing up in Morris, Minn., watching game fish TV shows and tossing a line at a family lake spot, Evan Carruthers is dominating the tarpon fishing circuit. And it's a team sport.

Unlike, say, the bass pros, the pursuit of the fast, powerful "silver king" of the ocean is a two-person affair. Carruthers, of Maple Plain, and his skiff guide Greg Dini, of Florida, have won two of the three major annual tournaments this year, all in the Florida Keys, beginning with the Golden Fly the third week of May. They won again at the Don Hawley Invitational, a tournament entering its 50th year held the first week of June, and just took sixth at the season finale, the Gold Cup.

"We had a good tournament season for sure, and I'm happy with how we did," said the humble Carruthers, who has fished competitively for about nine years.

Next, he'll angle in a few more tournaments for another elusive species, the permit.

In a recent conversation during the Gold Cup, Carruthers (who runs a private equity firm when not on the water) talked about his attachment to the distinctive sport, its difference from other, more familiar fishing disciplines, and the allure of sparring with athletic tarpon. Carruthers' comments were edited for length and clarity.

On the difference from targeting freshwater fish

"It is a team sport. My guide is Miami-based. You don't do as much scouting because you have a guy on the water. They are five-day tournaments. We'll pre-fish for two days but if you do more than that it can really wear you down.

It is very different in that most of it is sight fishing. You are out on tidal flats, so it puts a premium on casting capability, feeding fish in a sight fishing situation, which is quite different than freshwater trout streams and traditional river fishing."

On his Minnesota fishing story

"A big part of my background is the outdoors. I am a passionate angler and a passionate bird hunter. We had a lake place (Lake Minnewaska) growing up so I did a lot of freshwater fishing. Then, say, about 12 to 15 years ago I started getting serious on the fly fishing side and specifically the saltwater, which is a little bit of a different discipline from the fly fishing side. I started traveling to the Caribbean and Florida getting a crash course."

On building his interest

"When I was a kid there were a couple of TV shows, "Spanish Fly" and "The Walker's Cay Chronicles," which were both Florida- or Bahamas-based fishing shows focused on saltwater fly fishing. I was always intrigued by it. One of the unfortunate things is it is an expensive sport. So I didn't really have the capability to do it until I started my professional career."

On the tournaments

"This is the 60th Gold Cup, so they have been around for a long time. They are scheduled in the heart of the migratory tarpon season, which is mid-March until the end of June down in the Keys. It is three tournaments in five weeks."

On the challenge of catching tarpon

"If you know what you are doing, you can subdue them in probably 10 to 15 minutes on average. In our tournaments, you are fishing a 12- or 16-pound class tippet, which is the lightest tippet in your leader. A lot of what you spend your time on is figuring out how much pressure you can put on the fish without breaking your class tippet. You have a 100-plus-pound fish on the line, so you spend a lot of time learning how to fight fish, work angles and put the maximum amount of pressure on a tarpon to ultimately break its spirit and get it to hand. For every fish you get to hand, you break off five or six that will either chew through the bite tippet or break your class tippet. They are good, athletic, fighting fish.

For a lot of amateurs, they might fight a tarpon for an hour or an hour and half because [the tarpon] just don't give up, and the anglers just don't know how much pressure they can apply to a fish. That is a lot of what a guide and angler will work on before fishing these tournaments. The ethical thing to do is fight them hard, but you don't really want to fight a tarpon for an hour and a half, because I think it increases the probability that you kill that fish or it will get sharked after you release it. You want to get them to hand quickly so they have the highest survival rate possible."

On the differing rules

"Part of the challenge with the tarpon is getting them to the skiff and grabbing them. It is a fairly complex and highly orchestrated activity. If you went back 25 to 30 tournaments, they would have been kill tournaments. You would gaff the tarpon and bring it in and throw it on a scale. They were traditionally all weight fish tournaments. You had forward-thinking anglers and guides who said it is not good to kill these fish — some of [the fish] might live to be 70 years old. All [events] migrated to release tournaments.

In the Gold Cup to get weight or release points, you have to fight the fish to the hand and then if you don't think it is 70 pounds, you can still get release points. They are all a little bit of a different scoring system." (Editor's note: The weight point system has anglers zip-tie the girth, do a length measurement, and then take a photo of the fish. Then there is a girth-to-length calculation to determine the weight of the fish.)

On the sizes of some of his winning fish

"In the [Don] Hawley, they have to be longer than 48 inches, which is about a 30-pound fish. In the Hawley, 30 pounds to 110 pounds. In the Golden Fly, where I did actually strap fish, my weight fish were 103 pounds to 124 pounds. In [the Gold Cup], there is an angler and guide that have won it the last two years [angler Dave Preston and guide Luis Cortes, who also won last week]. They caught the largest weight fish in the history of tarpon tournament fishing. It was 163 pounds."

On the teamwork

"For Greg Dini and I, we've been fishing tarpon together for 12 to 13 years. Tournament fishing is a different ballgame then going out and fun fishing. There is a system to doing it. A lot of the successful teams have been doing it for a long time. I think he and I have started to have a lot of success because we have been building toward it the last six years. We had five second-place finishes and two or three third-place finishes. It is a true team sport."

Minnesota melons are a late summer treat

Watermelon is the country's most popular melon, with cumulative annual consumption hovering around 5 billion pounds. On the cantaloupe front, Americans on average consume about 6 to 7 pounds of it each year.This data, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also reveals where most melons come from, and the answer is, basically, "not Minnesota." Two-thirds of all watermelons sold in the U.S. are grown in Florida, Georgia, Texas and California, and California and Arizona are the top cantaloupe producers.Which explains ...

Watermelon is the country's most popular melon, with cumulative annual consumption hovering around 5 billion pounds. On the cantaloupe front, Americans on average consume about 6 to 7 pounds of it each year.

This data, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also reveals where most melons come from, and the answer is, basically, "not Minnesota." Two-thirds of all watermelons sold in the U.S. are grown in Florida, Georgia, Texas and California, and California and Arizona are the top cantaloupe producers.

Which explains why the majority of melons sold in Minnesota supermarkets hail from elsewhere. That's a shame, because nothing beats the flavor, texture, juiciness and alluring scent of a locally raised melon, one that traveled from field to table in hours rather than days or weeks.

This is the sweet spot where farmers like Jeff Nistler are making a difference.

At his family farm in Maple Plain, about 25 miles west of downtown Minneapolis, Nistler cultivates a beloved trinity of summer favorites: sweet corn, tomatoes and melons. The latter two categories have been growing in prominence in recent years.

"I used to think of myself as a sweet corn farmer, and tomatoes and melons were an add-on," said Nistler. "And now, it's flipped, and I think of myself as a tomato and melon farmer, with sweet corn as an add-on."


He started growing vegetables and fruits in the late 1980s, a diversification strategy after a traumatic drought nearly forced his hog and commodity crops operation out of business.

At first, the focus was on sweet corn and pumpkins, but then Nistler started to dabble in melons, in part because his father, Erwin Nistler, favors them.

"It's such a great thing to share with my dad," said Nistler. "He's 88 now, and there's sort of a limit to what he can do, but he just loves the melons."

Over the decades, and guided by the wisdom and experience of several local farmer mentors — including Sharon Pew, Atina Diffley and the late Tim Kornder — Nistler has cultivated nearly 50 varieties of melons, always test-driving new ones and sticking with a few tried-and-true favorites.

"I like to experiment," he said. "Part of it is just curiosity, and part of it is the varieties are constantly improving."

This summer, eight different types of melons are coming into maturity at the farm, spread out across tidy fields and in a pair of greenhouses where the vines grow vertically — and rather dramatically — in thick, almost junglelike patches.

"When the melons are ripe, you can smell the greenhouses from 100 feet away," said Nistler.

A favorite variety is the Piel de Sapo, an ovoid-shaped beauty from Spain with a thick, toadskin-like rind.

"But the inside is white, and firm — like a pear — and sweet," said Nistler. "We probably only started growing it maybe three or four years ago, and I think it's our best melon. In hot weather, there's nothing better. Plus, we just like the name."

Familiar red-fleshed watermelon is a part of the farm's inventory. But when Nistler has a watermelon craving, he reaches for the smaller icebox varieties — so named because the orb-like melons can easily fit on a refrigerator shelf — with cheerful yellow flesh.

"I just think the flavor is phenomenal," he said. "They're sweeter and more refreshing."

Last year's melon crop was his best in memory. But this summer's early hot and dry weather has put a dent in the farm's melon output and Nistler expects the volume to be down at least 25%. (Fortunately, the tomato crop — there are 25 varieties — is booming.)

"Sometimes everything is just stacked against you," he said. "You get a year like this, and you think you've forgotten how to do things."

Visiting Nistler's Mill City Farmers Market stand is always a treat. Not only literally, because he's also selling breads — sourdoughs, plus sweet breads that incorporate his tomato and squash crops — but also because Nistler understands and emphasizes the interpersonal aspect of the farmers market experience.

"Some people are looking for that connection to the farmer, and it's a big part of my job to make that connection," said Nistler. "I like to be free of the actual transactions — I like to have someone else handle the money — so when people have questions, I can talk to them. I do enjoy that."

He's a source for all kinds of helpful melon tutorials. Storage, for example.


"If it's fully ripe, it goes in the refrigerator, and it can last for up to a week," said Nistler. "If it's not completely ripe, or it's a forgiving melon, put it on the counter. I like melons on the counter, because they're so aromatic. Sometimes it seems like it's good enough to just smell it, but of course you want to taste it, too."

Where to find farmer Jeff Nistler with his bounty:

Mother Earth Gardens (3738 42nd Av. S., Mpls., motherearthgarden.com) on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m.

Mill City Farmers Market (704 S. 2nd St., Mpls., millcityfarmersmarket.org) on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Minneapolis Farmers Market (312 E. Lyndale Av. N., Mpls., mplsfarmersmarket.com) on occasional Sundays from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Serves 6.

Note: "I have found that adding sweet red wine vinegar, such as Banyuls, not only brightens the soup but also gives it a cheery, not-too-sweet note that you just don't get from standard red wine vinegar," writes Lenny Russo in "Heartland" (Burgess Lea Press, $35). "The chive sour cream garnish accentuates the puréed onions, countering the natural acidity produced by the fruit and vinegar."

For chive sour cream:

• 1 c. sour cream

• 2 tbsp. freshly chopped chives

• 1 tsp. sea salt

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For gazpacho:

• 1 c. peeled, seeded and roughly chopped honeydew melon

• 1 tbsp. seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper

• 1/4 c. seeded and chopped green bell pepper

• 1/4 c. chopped green onions

• 1 c. diced white onions

• 1/2 c. chopped (and unpeeled) seedless cucumbers

• 1 c. husked and chopped tomatillos

• 2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

• 2 tbsp. Banyuls vinegar or other red wine vinegar (see Note)

• 1 tsp. fine sea salt

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


To prepare chive sour cream: In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, chives, salt and pepper. Whisk to blend well and refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare gazpacho: In a blender, combine the melon, jalapeño, bell pepper, green onions, white onion, cucumber, tomatillos, parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper and purée until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, ladle gazpacho into bowls and top with a dollop of chive sour cream.

Makes about 16 pieces.

Note: In place of cilantro sprigs, use small leaves or fine strips of spearmint. From "The Herbal Kitchen" by Jerry Traunfeld (William Morrow, $34.95).

• 2 limes

• 1/2 c. sugar

• 1/2 c. water

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

• 8 thin slices prosciutto (about 5 oz.)

• 1 bunch cilantro, washed and spun dry

• Half of a ripe melon, such as cantaloupe, honeydew or galia, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices


Remove the zest from the limes in thin strips (using a citrus zester, not a microplane), reserving zest. Slice the tops and bottoms off the limes (discarding ends) and stand the limes on a cutting board. Cut off the pith in vertical strips, slicing just beneath the white layer (discarding pith), then slice the limes in 1/2-inch-thick rounds and cut each round in quarters.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water, lime zest and salt and bring to a boil. Drop in the lime pieces and boil, uncovered and without stirring, for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the marmalade to cool at room temperature (it will thicken and jell as it does).

When ready to serve, work with 1 slice of prosciutto at a time. Cut prosciutto slices in half and spread the middle of each portion with about 1/2 teaspoon of marmalade. Lay several sprigs of cilantro across each piece, allowing the leaves to extend over the edges, and top with melon slices. Wrap the prosciutto around the melon. These are best served as soon as possible; the melon slices will weep as they sit.


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