Finding Help for Long Term Care Needs

The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped. ~Hubert H. Humphrey
As loved ones grow older, families are faced with tough decisions about providing the care their family member requires and deserves. Thankfully, Minnesota provides many services for those who need it. According to a national report released by AARP, Minnesota ranks first nationally among states in delivering services for older adults and people with disabilities.
So how do we find these services? There are several websites that provide helpful information. One site I suggest is www.MinnesotaHelp.info (click on “Senior Link”). You will find information for seniors, their families and caregivers on a variety of issues, including:
• Adult Day Services – Type in your zip code and the search engine will link you to adult day services and centers in your area.
• Nursing Homes – Finding a nursing home that is right for you or your loved one can be a daunting task. The website offers useful tips and a list of questions to ask when looking for a nursing home.
• Help with Care and Chores at your Home – Homemaker services are services that are delivered at home which do not include personal care. Homemakers are men and women that help you take care of daily chores around the house that you or your loved one may not be able to complete as easily as before. MinnesotaHelp.Info may be able to help you find the homemaker services you or your loved one need.
• Transportation – There are different types of formal transportation programs (programs run by an agency like the county or senior center) which include senior buses, door-to-door disability transportation, public transit, and much more. There may be waiting lists or you may have to be eligible for the program. Make sure you plan ahead well in advance.
• Medicare and other Benefits – Finding the appropriate benefits can be a tough task. The MinnesotaHelp.Info website may be able to point you in the right direction.
• These are just a few of the topics discussed on their website. Visit www.minnesotahelp.info or call 1-800-333-2433 for more information.
You can also find useful information on your county website or the Minnesota Board on Aging:
• Ramsey County Human Services – http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/hs/index.htm
• Washington County Community Services – www.co.washington.mn.us (search for “community services”)
• Minnesota Board on Aging – http://www.mnaging.org/
It is important to follow changes to services as they happen on the state and national levels. To see what happened in the 2011 Legislative Session, visit the Department of Human Services website at www.dhs.state.mn.us and click on the 2011 special session “human services overview” link.
I would like to thank everyone that works in the long-term care industry. Whether it is helping people live in their own homes, transitioning to somewhere new, or providing services at a long-term care facility, your services are much appreciated.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions about any issue. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.
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Senator Chuck Wiger
Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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