Assisted Living in Minnesota

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Families looking for assisted living in Minnesota (MN) have a wide array of communities to choose from, since estimated that there are more than 30,000 assisted living communities serving seniors across the U.S., and over 817 statewide. The state is also home to a rapidly growing number of senior citizens, with adults over 65 making up an estimated 15 percent of the population. A resident in an assisted living community in Minnesota will pay $4,000 per month on average.

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Average Monthly Cost

States near Minnesota

$4,000.00 US
$4,000.00 Minnesota
$3,847.00 Iowa
$3,500.00 South Dakota
$3,315.00 North Dakota
Minnesota is an affordable state for assisted living. The Genworth Cost of Care Survey lists its monthly median price for private, single-room assisted living as $4,000, the same as the national average of $4,000. Most nearby states also have similarly-competitive monthly prices, a couple even cheaper, with Wisconsin being the most expensive and Minnesota landing roughly in the middle of the pack.

Compare Monthly Care Costs

When it comes to care options, assisted living is just one of several choices available to seniors. Some care options, like part-time in-home care or independent living, may cost less, while others like memory care or skilled nursing are likely to cost significantly more. Seniors can speak with their medical practitioners to receive guidance on what level of care will best suit their needs and abilities.
$9,125.00

Nursing Home Care

$5,148.00

In-Home Care

$4,000.00

Assisted Living

Average Monthly Cost

Cities in Minnesota

$4,425.00 Minneapolis
$4,393.00 Mankato
$4,250.00 Duluth
$3,770.00 Rochester
$3,716.00 St. Cloud
The average costs vary in different parts of the state. Centers like Duluth and St. Cloud track closely to the statewide average, while more sparsely-populated areas like Mankato and Rochester are considerably less expensive. Perhaps not surprisingly, the metropolis of Minneapolis comes in at $4,425, nearly a thousand dollars a month over the statewide average. Even so, that doesn't put it anywhere near the ranking of the most expensive areas for assisted living in America.

What You Should Know About Assisted Living in Minnesota

The state of Minnesota effectively defines assisted living as registered housing being run by an agency that provides services for seniors. At a minimum, any facility that qualifies as assisted living has to provide:

  • two daily meals along with weekly housekeeping and laundry service,
  • help with at least three major activities of daily living (ADLs),
  • opportunities for socializing, transportation to medical and social services appointments, and access to community services
  • help with medication management and potentially on-call nursing, depending on the class of provider

In Minnesotan parlance, assisted living arrangements are also sometimes called "assisted living home care." The term "home care" can be a reference to care taking place in the resident's own home or in a house with kin- or affinity-related caregivers, but in most cases, it refers to the home care agency that's providing services in a given facility. Adult foster care is another common term for assisted living in the state, applying to a specifically licensed kind of facility.

Financial Assistance for Assisted Living in Minnesota

Low-income seniors in Minnesota have a variety of options for seeking assistance in financing assisted living. Most Medicaid programs focus on in-home and non-facility care and on providing seniors the ability to manage their own program of care and hire caregivers, including family members. But there is one state-level program in particular that focuses specifically on assisted living.

The Housing Support Program

The Housing Support program, formerly known as the Group Residential Housing (GRH) program, provides financial support for seniors who aren't eligible for Medicaid. It provides funding for residency at a network of thousands of adult foster care homes and other facilities across the state. The HSP pays the cost of room and board directly to a selected provider, although it does not fund other care services.

Who Is Eligible?

Eligible applicants have to be Minnesota residents, 65 years of age, not able to subsist in independent living, and in financial circumstances that meet the limits for Supplemental Security Income. Their countable resources can't exceed $2,000; for married couples the cap is $3,000. Individual incomes up to $750 and couples up to $1,125 are permitted, with certain restrictions.

How to Apply

The Minnesota Department of Human Services runs this program. Online applications can be found here. Alternatively, applicants can fill out a form and bring it to their county or tribal office. Those seeking more information about the program can find it at the Department's website.


More Ways to Finance Assisted Living

While many families use their own funds or personal assets to pay for assisted living, there are plenty of additional options to cover these costs. Visit our 9 Ways to Pay for Assisted Living page for more information.


Free Assisted Living Resources in Minnesota

A number of government-funded, veterans and nonprofit organizations are dedicated to providing free information, support and resources for aging citizens and their loved ones in Minnesota. They can provide an excellent starting point for seniors seeking to better understand all the options available to them for financing and learning about long-term care, among other topics.

The Minnesota Board on Aging

Appointed by the office of the governor, the Minnesota Board on Aging is a major gateway to information and advocacy for seniors. It works closely with the state's Area Agencies on Aging and provides guidance on grants, Medicare enrollment, advice on steps to take before moving into assisted living and much more.

Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging

221 West 1st Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802
218-722-5545 or 1-800-232-0707

Central Minnesota Council on Aging

250 Riverside Avenue North, Suite 300, Sartell, Minnesota 56377
320-253-9349

Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging

109 South Minnesota Street, Warren, Minnesota 56762
218-745-6733

Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging

2365 N McKnight Road, Suite 3, North St. Paul, Minnesota 55109
651-641-8612

Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Area Agency on Aging

15542 State Hwy 371 NW, PO Box 217, Cass Lake, Minnesota 56633
218-335-8586 or 1-888-231-7886

Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging

Mankato Office
201 N. Broad St., Suite 102, Mankato, MN 56001
507-387-1256

Slayton Office
1939 Engebretson Ave., Slayton, MN 56172
507-387-1256

Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging

2720 Superior Drive NW, Rochester, MN 55901
507-288-6944


Assisted Living Laws and Regulations in Minnesota

Assisted Living Service Plan Requirements

All prospective residents of assisted living communities in the state are required to have a nursing assessment before someone moves into their long-term care. This assessment, conducted by a registered nurse, has to cover both the physical and mental needs of the prospective resident, and it has to be followed up with a proposed service plan to meet those needs. This is required either before any contracts are signed or before any transition into the facility's care, whichever one comes earlier.

There are, however, a couple of possible exceptions to this. If geographic distance or 'urgent or unexpected circumstances' make a nursing assessment infeasible, the facility's obligation is waived. In those cases, they're required to offer a telephone conference whenever it's in the bounds of possibility instead.

The question of assessment also touches on the needs for anyone who is contemplating assisted living to have access to information about all the options available to them. For that reason, Minnesotan housing facilities are expected to tell any applicants about the Long Term Care Consultation services offered by the state's Department of Human Services, and provide them with all the relevant contact information.

Assisted Living Admission Requirements

The state has no formal admission requirements for assisted living. A provider might only offer assisted living services to some residents of a housing-with-services facility. If they determine that they can't meet the needs of current or prospective residents, they aren't required to offer new services or continue to provide current ones. Their services can be terminated without affecting the resident's housing status; in most circumstances they have to provide thirty days' notice and must offer to assist in finding another care provider.

Assisted Living Scope of Care

Assisted living communities in Minnesota provide a specific scope of services that include medication management, daily meals, activities of daily living such dressing, bathing and grooming, transportation to medical appointments, a schedule of social activities and reasonable access to connection with the community. They are also expected to maintain a system to check on every resident at least daily.

The more detailed specifics of the scope of care and especially of the scope of medical support depend on whether the agency that's been licensed to provide home care services at a particular facility is Class A or Class F. Class A licensees provide service both in resident's homes and in facilities, while Class F licensees focus exclusively on assisted living facilities.

Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

There are restrictive eligibility criteria for Medicaid in Minnesota. They're based on income level, financial resources and ability to function and can vary depending on whether someone is applying for a state plan or a waiver program.

Eligibility can be extremely complicated. As of 2018, Medicaid in Minnesota does not admit applicants with an income above $12,140 per year, in line with the Federal Poverty Guidelines. There is a $3,000 asset limit. Some medical expenses can be deducted from an applicant's countable income, and there are other ways to effectively reduce countable assets, but this has to be done carefully and in consultation with a Medicaid Planner: Giving away or selling assets to meet the asset limit may violate regulations and result in ineligibility.

Assisted Living Facility Requirements

Housing that provides assisted living services can take a variety of forms. The kind of facility most directly licensed by the state is an Adult Foster Care facility. These have specific requirements for occupancy and capacity, easy access by the residents to the living room and dining facilities, and arrangement of rooms to maximize privacy. Successful license applicants must have up-to-date fire inspections and comply with a checklist of safety features that includes secure and healthy storage of food and medicine, basic personal safety features like railings on staircases, and overall emergency preparedness.

For other kinds of assisted living facility, from hospital and clinic-style settings to family homes to condos and cooperatives, the housing in question has to abide by the safety regulations governing all such housing in the state.

Medication Management Regulations

Assisted living facilities in Minnesota must provide or arrange assistance with the administration (or the self-administration) of medications. Any staff involved must have written instructions from a registered nurse, and they have to demonstrate competence in following those instructions. The further standards for medication management vary widely depending on the specific nature of the services, the resident's status and the setting.

Staffing Requirements

All assisted living facilities are expected to provide registered nursing services on call. The registered nurse is required to have a system in place for delegating specific health care and medication-related tasks to unlicensed staff, and training those staff to carry out those tasks.

There needs to be 24-hour access, seven days a week for any health care needs to a staff person who's awake, in the same building or on a contiguous campus, and who can either provide or summon the kind of assistance needed. This doesn't attain to the level of care and monitoring provided in a nursing home, but it's considerably more comprehensive than the health support requirements of assisted living in many states. All facilities are required to maintain adequate staff to meet those needs and provide all the other expected supports, but there's no legally mandated minimum ratio of staff to residents.

Staff Training Requirements

Housing-with-services facilities need a manager with at least 30 hours of continuing education every two years in relevant topics to operating an assisted living community and caring for residents. This continuing education can include professional licensing such as nursing or nursing home administrator credentials. It must include four hours of dementia-care training inside 160 working hours of hire, and two hours of added dementia-care training every year.

Staff are expected to know how to observe, report and document residents' status and the care and services being provided to them. They must understand infection control and how to maintain a hygienic environment. They need to know basic elements of body function and what kinds of changes should be reported to a healthcare professional, and they need good communications skills and familiarity with the physical, mental and emotional needs of the residents.

They're also expected to be familiar with:

  • general regulations in the state
  • emergency response
  • procedures for reporting abuse or neglect
  • how to handle complaints
  • the home care bill of rights
  • ombudsman services

Background Checks for ALR Staff in Minnesota

Staff, contractors and volunteers connected with any assisted living home care provider need to be able to pass a criminal background check, and the provider's license can be denied or suspended on the discovery of convictions for any of 15 types of crimes. Employees that have direct contact with any resident have to disclose convictions of any crime beyond a minor traffic violation.

Requirements for Reporting Abuse

Providers of assisted living services in Minnesota are required to identify and report adult abuse as a condition of their licensing. The Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center operates a toll-free line for this purpose at 844-880-1574. The Department of Health operates an email where people can inquire for more information about the reporting process.


Assisted Living Facilities in Minnesota

Cities

Counties

Top-Rated Caring Stars Winners in Minnesota

Caring.com’s Caring Stars award program recognizes the best assisted living facilities across the U.S. based on reviews from family caregivers and older adults. This award is meant to help older adults and their loved ones find the best assisted living or in-home care option in their area. The list below shows up to 10 listings that have won the most Caring Stars annual awards in their state, sorted by their current overall average rating. For a complete list of Caring Stars winners for each year, please visit our Caring Stars info center.

730x450%23

Brookdale Edina

Edina, MN $

25 reviews

730x450%23

The Pines Senior and Assisted Living

Richfield, MN Cost Levels

12 reviews

730x450%23

Keystone Place at LaValle Fields

Hugo, MN $$$

16 reviews

730x450%23

Grace Homes

Hopkins, MN Cost Levels

8 reviews

730x450%23

Good Shepherd Community - Sauk Rapids

Sauk Rapids, MN Cost Levels

10 reviews

730x450%23

Landings at Sauk Rapids

Sauk Rapids, MN $$

10 reviews

730x450%23

Sunrise of Roseville

Roseville, MN $$$

24 reviews

730x450%23

Sunrise of Edina

Edina, MN $

20 reviews

730x450%23

Brookdale Champlin

Champlin, MN $

25 reviews

730x450%23

Ecumen Seasons at Apple Valley

Apple Valley, MN Cost Levels

14 reviews