Assisted Living In Minnesota
If you’ve been looking into assisted living (AL) facilities for your aging parent or loved one, you know that there are a lot of factors to consider. In some cases, you may come up with more and more questions as you continue your search. That’s why we’re here – to provide some answers and help make the process a bit easier.
The first question to ask yourself is whether your loved one could use assistance with activities of daily living (ADL). If so, a residential assisted living option may be best. We’ve compiled information on Minnesota assisted living costs, services, and more to help you get a better sense of what the options look like in your area.
What Is Senior Assisted Living?
It is critical to understand first and foremost that AL facilities are not nursing homes. Instead of placing a significant focus on medical care (which is the primary service of nursing homes), the main purpose of assisted living services is to assist people with basic ADL functions.
Some types of medical treatment associated with daily living may be provided by assisted living communities (for example, oxygen assistance or prescription management), but people with more stringent clinical requirements will most likely be referred to a nursing home instead.
If your elderly parent or loved one is still fairly healthy and active but requires closer care and assistance with daily activities, assisted living homes are likely the best option.
Daily Life for Senior Assisted Living
The primary goal of residential assisted living is to provide seniors with care and assistance regarding ADLs. The goal of assisted living, as previously stated, is to help people live more comfortably and easily when going about their daily activities.
ADL assistance includes:
- personal care (i.e., hygiene/grooming)
- mobility assistance (getting up, sitting down, climbing stairs, walking, etc.)
- meal preparation
Many facilities will also provide additional services, so be sure to schedule a tour or call assisted living homes you’re considering to ask specific questions about a service your loved one may need.
Minnesota Assisted Living Services
The Minnesota Department of Health has passed the Assisted Living Licensure (ALL) law, which helps to ensure the health, safety, well-being, and appropriate treatment of seniors in residential care.
Services protected under this law include, but are not limited to:
- proper housing and care services
- initial reviews, assessments, and monitoring
- three meals a day
- individualized plans for seniors
- Referrals for specialized care
- medication management services
- treatment and therapy management services
- services for residents with dementia
Average Assisted Living Costs in Minnesota
Minnesota is ranked first in the nation for elderly health care. In fact, a 2022 Senior Living Report ranks Minnesota as 5th in the nation for assisted living homes specifically. Not only that, the average assisted living cost in Minnesota is slightly lower than the national average.
The national AL average cost is $4,000 a month, whereas the average monthly assisted living cost in Minnesota is $3,846. Prices may differ depending on what city you are looking in. The average AL costs for some major Minnesota cities include:
- Mankato, MN: $3,135
- St. Cloud, MN: $4,100
- Rochester, MN: $4,180
- Duluth, MN: $5,000
- Minneapolis, MN: $5,163
Paying for Assisted Living Costs in Minnesota
Finding a way to pay for assisted living costs and services is no doubt difficult and daunting for many reasons. We are here to break down the ways you can seek financial support for assisted living costs.
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to financing medical care is usually Medicare and Medicaid, so let’s go over those first.
In Minnesota (as in most states), it is unlikely that Medicare would cover services provided by assisted living facilities. That’s because Medicare focuses more on medical-heavy services, whereas AL services focus more on activities of daily living.
Although Medicare is unlikely to cover the in-home costs of senior assisted living, it may cover some costs outside of the assisted living home, such as prescriptions and clinical treatment/equipment.
Now, AL financing is where Medicaid comes in: Minnesota Medicaid is referred to as Medical Assistance (MA), which can cover certain assisted living costs including, but not limited to:
- assistance with daily living activities
- medication management
- health care from therapists and other licensed professionals
In order to qualify for Medicaid in the state of Minnesota, your loved one must:
- provide a SSN
- provide a government-issued ID
- provide current insurance cards
- reside in Minnesota (must be able to prove state residency)
- meet certain limits regarding income and assets (must provide five years’ worth of bank and income statements)
In addition to these logistical requirements, a nurse or social worker treating your loved one will also be asked to answer certain questions, such as:
- requirements regarding ADL assistance
- concerns with independent living
- where they would like to reside
- services they would like to receive in a residential assisted living community
If you need help applying your loved one for Medicaid, you can contact Minnesota’s Senior LinkAge Line.
Elderly Waiver Program
In addition to Medicaid services, Minnesota also provides an Elderly Waiver Program that can provide financial assistance for certain AL costs. Services covered by the Elderly Waiver Program may include:
- transportation services
- case management
- assisted living community programs
- emergency response
- medical equipment
- personal care
- companion services
Assisted Senior Living: How to Know When It’s Time
As we get older, we all end up needing help – it’s completely natural. Transitioning from independent to assisted senior living is never an easy choice, but we hope that this information has assisted you in determining whether or not AL services are appropriate for your aging parent.
If your loved one has been experiencing difficulties with ADL, a residential living community may be the best option going forward. You can also speak with your loved one’s primary health care provider for their expert medical advice on next steps.
Transitioning from Independent to Assisted Living
We hope the resources we’ve provided will assist you in locating the best residential assisted living community for your loved one’s specific needs.
We are here to help your loved one age with comfort and dignity. Browse our directory of Minnesota assisted living homes for more information on specific services and costs.
Written by Aging with Care
©2023 Aging with Care | All Rights Reserved