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Senior Housing

The Metropolitan Area offers a broad array of housing options for seniors from independent apartments to housing with supportive services to nursing home care. Within each category of housing there is even more variety. A thorough housing search will involve careful consideration of a person’s preferences, needs and financial circumstance.

To learn more about housing options, download a copy of A Key To Choice for Seniors or visit Senior Housing Inc.'s (Off Site) website.

Adult Foster Care
Adult foster care settings provide basic services including a private or shared bedroom, meals and snacks, day and evening supervision, protection, and general household services, all in a typical home setting. Adult foster care homes serve up to five adults and are staffed by individuals or families who live at the residence or by paid employees who are hired by the adult foster care provider. Seniors are encouraged to participate in the daily household activities.

Assisted Living
Assisted living is a term applied to a broad array of residential options for seniors. All assisted living facilities employ or contract for home health care professionals who assist residents with various activities of daily living and health care services. Activities of daily living include bathing, using the bathroom, dressing and preparing meals.  Most assisted living programs offer group dining two times per day. Health care services such as medication management can be arranged. Assisted living buildings can be small in size, similar to adult foster care facilities, but are more often larger facilities with a dozen units or more. Like senior apartments, some assisted living buildings offer subsidization, where a portion of the monthly rental and service costs can be paid for with public funds such as the long-term care waiver programs.

Market Rate Rentals and Townhouses
Market rate choices range from apartments to condominiums and townhouses. Residents in these settings pay monthly rental or mortgage rates for their housing according to the current market trends. While market rate housing is for residents who are generally more independent, many senior apartment and townhouse communities offer services and amenities that aid residents with ordinary household responsibilities. Services and amenities may include a community room or exercise area, property upkeep, mowing and shoveling, transportation and optional housekeeping and personal care services.

Nursing Homes
Nursing homes provide a residential option for seniors who require extensive nursing, therapy and personal care assistance. Nursing home facilities are typically large, with several dozen units. Rooms may be private or shared. Some nursing homes devote portions of their buildings to residents who require special attention and/or supervision due to memory loss. These units are often called Memory Care units. Nursing homes accept private payment just as other housing options, but due to the comparatively high cost of nursing home care, residents must often seek funding Medical Assistance from their county of residence when their personal funds are exhausted.

Learn about the Minnesota Department of Health's Nursing Home Report Card.

Subsidized and Affordable Housing
Subsidization allows seniors to access rental housing of various kinds more affordably, by establishing a limit on the monthly cost of their residence. With subsidization, seniors generally pay approximately 30% of their monthly income toward their housing costs, as opposed to the full cost of monthly rent. Public subsidies for housing are traditionally accessed by one of two ways: through a regional housing agency called a Housing Authority, or by applying directly to an area senior housing building. Senior housing buildings have units that are designated as subsidized for which a person can apply, while Housing Authorities can determine the availability of a Housing Choice Voucher. Housing Choice Vouchers are issued to individual renters and can be used to subsidize units that are not ordinarily designated as subsidized.

Universal Home Design
Universal design is the idea of making things comfortable and convenient for as many different people at as many stages of life as possible. These common-sense features can make your home a more pleasant place to live right now, and avoid unnecessary hassles and expensive changes in the future. Learn more in the Universal Home Design booklet.

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