As early as 2001, the Minnesota Long-Term Care Taskforce set policies and principles to guide its age preparation. Those guidelines found culmination in its interagency project, the “Transform 2010” initiative. Minnesota’s state plan continues the successful programsbegun in 2001 and 2010. Written by the Minnesota Board on Aging in compliance with the Older Americans Act, the plan illustrates what community planners and local governments can expect when previous policies and partnerships initiatives are, in fact, experiencing success.
Minnesota reduced its nursing bed capacity by 20 percent between 1995-2005, and 50 percent of those older Minnesotans receiving state funds to get for care services in home and community-based settings. In short, Minnesota is workingtowards a long-term strategy to cost-effectively enable all Minnesotans to age in place, reducing the state’s Medicare expenditures. To date, those initiatives have been effective.
Other plan highlights include:
- Minnesota’s aging services approach centers around a Transform 2010 initiative that created the MinnesotaHelp network. Transform 2010 brought together the Minnesota Board on Aging with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, 14 other state agencies, and numerous public and private organizations. Together they hosted community forums around the state). The result was a Blueprint for each organization to follow that coordinated efforts in policies and initiatives for age preparation. The MinnesotaHelp network is an information resource and dissemination system, but one that incorporates various departments to create an especially strong resource for the state.The Transform 2010program and the resulting MinnesotaHelp network are worth a close look by community planners and local governments for efficiency in planning.
- In a ten-year span (between 2010-2020) the older adult population in Minnesota will “grow by 40 percent while the under-65 population will increase by four percent” (page 7). In order to accommodate the number of Baby Boomers seeking to age at home, Minnesota has focused successfully on moving long-term care away from institutions like nursing facilities. Future issues will involve transportation, respite/companionship (when caregivers are not available or for those seniors with no family), and chore services (shoveling snow, physical chores, etc.).
How to Use
Minnesota’s state plan is worth noting by other local governments and planners for two reasons: 1) it demonstrates how umbrella organizations like MinnesotaHelp or initiatives like Transform 2010 can be effective and efficient ways to coordinate age related services, and 2) the plan has a longer view than most, still working with guidelines set forward in 2001. As such, the plan is a good example of how long-range planning and implementation can work.
View full report: Minnesota State Plan on Aging – 2009-2012 (PDF – 458 KB)