Worried About Aging Parents?

KSTP

Jul 1, 2019

Worried About Aging Parents? Minnesota Has Help for Seniors and Caregivers

News Summary: 

If you’re worried about your aging parents, you’re not alone. The MN Department of Human Services predicts by 2039, more than 21 percent of the state’s population will be age 65 and older.

The state is working to save taxpayers money and keep seniors happy and healthy at home through a program called “Live Well at Home.” Nonprofit Loaves & Fishes received a grant from this state program to hire a Director of Advocacy and establish the “Advocacy Program for Older Minnesotans.”

More than half of the guests who visit the Loaves & Fishes dining site at Creekside Community Center are seniors. Harold Krein,89, is one of them. The U.S. Army Veteran plays the accordion and loves to dance. But Krein also has concerns about living at home, especially falling.

"I think about it yeah," said Krein. "Now I got trouble with my knee and a little bit on the hip. I don't have any children, so I don't have anyone around to take care of me."

The Loaves & Fishes Director of Advocacy, Debbie Lieberman, meets with older Minnesotans like Harold and provides free referrals to community services. Lieberman said, "My concern with Harold is that he lives alone. "He could easily have a fall and who does he call?"

"There are services to help them around the house, help them with their personal care. Maybe give them a ride to the doctor," said Kari Benson, Director of the Aging and Adult Services Division at Department of Human Services.

In 2019, the Department of Human Services awarded $8.6 million in Live Well at Home Grants to organizations that help Minnesotans 65 and older live in their own homes.

According to Benson, the Live Well at Home Grants are a good investment for taxpayers.

"Delivering services to an older person in their home, supporting their family and friends who are caregiving, on average costs less than if we were to pay for that same person to live in a nursing home or assisted living," Benson said.

Lieberman gave Harold Krein phone numbers for apartments that are safer and are cheaper to rent. Right now, he doesn't want to move into a nursing home.  

"Well I guess I'll make that decision, cross the bridge when I get there. And, I'm not there yet," Krein said. "I still feel more like I'm 50." 

Click here to find out about more about the Loaves & Fishes Advocacy Program for Older Minnesotans.