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Minnesota Entrepreneur Launches Timely, Needed Magazine

December 09, 2009 By Lee Egerstrom, Economic Development Fellow

Fairmont publisher Kay Sauck and crew are mailing the premier edition of Caregiving in America magazine this week, serving a growing national market for information from their base in southern Minnesota.

Sauck and her Sauck Media Group have twice been featured for entrepreneurship by Minnesota 2020. Past stories noted her building the company and later for adapting, or refocusing it, to ride out the current recession. Hard times or not for publishing, the new magazine is targeted at a growing demand that is certain to expand in the years ahead.

"Caring for loved ones and losing loved ones is the part of life that has no step-by-step manual," Sauck said in a release announcing the launch of her much-anticipated magazine.

"We make it through these tough times by clinging to our families and to our faith and by learning what we can from one another," she added.

The monthly magazine has lined up a group of health and aging experts to provide regular features and will also carry information from two national organizations specializing in care giving needs, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and the Aging with Dignity organization.

The ideas for the magazine and for an online support site,, were outgrowths from personal experience. But it didn't take Sauck and staff long to research the need for such exchanges of information - both in quality of life and economic terms.

About 15 million Americans now work in care giving jobs and about 40 million other Americans provide such services for family members and friends. That means more than 50 million people are either pressed into service for loved ones or are taking care of neighbors or relatives with some financial support.

An AARP Public Policy Institute study, Valuing the Invaluable: the Economic Value of Family Caregiving, determined the 2007 value of unpaid care giving was about $375 billion.

While this often involves older people, if affects people of all ages, race, gender, income levels, geographic location, family size and lifestyle, the magazine publisher said. At the present time, 21 percent of the U.S. population is providing unpaid care for friends and relatives who are 18 years of age or older.

State figures for caregivers and their economic importance vary by studies. But based on aging population studies from Minnesota state demographer Tom Gillaspy, Minnesota probably accounts for a greater portion of such caregivers and their economic importance than our state population would suggest. We have an aging population.

In comments on demographic changes to the Civic Caucus on Oct. 2, Gillaspy said the growth in people over age 65 is causing health care spending to increase even as the size of the labor force declines. Health care is but one area that will be affected; almost every area of life will be affected, he told the civic group.

The quality of life factors will be especially studied and commented on in the new magazine. "Most people are not prepared for the challenges care giving brings," the magazine announcement states. "As they care for their loved ones, many face physical, finance and emotional hardships. The resulting stress affects not only them but those around them."

These pressures are building. A large population of baby boomers is aging, the company said. Also, chronic illnesses are increasing, formal care is shifting to informal family care, and families are smaller and more geographically dispersed.

Here in Minnesota, the future of many small towns rests partly in finding ways to provide services and making non-institutional life manageable for affected rural populations. Hundreds of our small towns no longer provide the agricultural marketing services that were their reason for founding, but now are popular and affordable hometowns for retirees and others who would stay if care services were available.

Cargiving in America magazine should provide much needed information for people, families and communications going through great personal and collective transitions. It joins Womeninc magazine and a new 2010 publication, MN Rivers magazine, as publications form Sauck Media Group.  

For information about the new magazine and to subscribe, either call Sauck Media Group at 507-235-8737 or head to A summary of Demographer Gillaspy's comments to the Civic Caucus can be found here.

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