As part of the “twin cities” of Minneapolis’ greater metro area, St. Paul is the second largest city in Minnesota. It’s known as a center of business and sports. The area boasts many attractions including Minnehaha Falls Park, shopping on Grand Avenue, the Science Museum, Minnesota History Center, The Guthrie Theater, and more.
The costs of nursing home care in St. Paul are close to the national average, but there are 34 nursing homes to choose from in St. Paul and more options just across the river in Minneapolis.
As of 2014, there were 377 nursing homes in Minnesota and 30,319 beds, according to the CDC.
More than 50% of the nursing home population nationwide is over the age of 85.
The Minnesota Department of Health offers recent (November of 2016) survey results regarding nursing homes.
Although it’s expensive to get nursing home care anywhere, the costs in St. Paul are very close to the rates in the United States overall. The national median rate for a private nursing home room in 2015 was $91,250, with a semi-private room costing a little less, $80,300. For the greater Minneapolis metro area, the annual cost for a private nursing home room in 2016 was $89,305, and for a semi-private room, the cost was $81,760.
It’s advisable to shop around and there are more than 32 nursing homes located within 10 miles of St. Paul.
It often falls to adult children of seniors to research nursing homes for aging parents, and it’s never an easy job to find the right place. There are many factors to consider, location and cost being two critical ones.
Sometimes nursing homes are for short-term stays, offering medical treatment and rehabilitation after an injury or illness. Episcopal Homes of Minnesota offers daily physical therapy and skilled nursing care to help residents recuperate and regain mobility during their time there.
Nursing homes provide 24-hour care for residents, with care supervised by physicians and Registered Nurses (RNs). Daily activities such as dressing, bathing, eating, etc. typically are duties carried out by a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
Nursing homes offer close supervision of residents, and healthful diets and other activities to promote mental and physical health, such as classes and exercise facilities in some places. Most facilities offer specialized diets including low sodium, kosher, vegetarian, or diabetic.
Patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia are often housed in their own wings or floors of the facilities.
Good nursing homes seek to provide quality care for residents, and they offer a variety of activities to enrich their lives emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically.
Some nursing homes offer, in addition to the regular cafeteria, small grills or bistros with a variety of foods, and a more sociable and relaxed atmosphere.
Many nursing homes offer a number of options for mental and physical enrichment activities. Ask if any of these are offered when visiting a nursing home:
Classes in art, music, or other areas
Exercise classes or supervised exercise activities such as walks
Outings to local stores, concerts, or museums
Concerts by outside musicians, school groups, or theater groups, in the facility
Visits by therapy animals
Galtier Health in St. Paul offers a great variety of enrichment activities.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services and Health Department have teamed up to compile a Nursing Home Report Card that gives a thorough picture of nursing homes in the state, and the quality of care offered.
It’s important to schedule a visit to the facility, and there are many questions which will help determine the overall quality of care.
What’s the staff to resident ratio?
How quickly and efficiently are maintenance issues handled?
How often is there a physician in the facility?
What are the procedures for notifying family, and in what instances will a family be notified?
Are there on-site facilities for haircuts or manicures?
The state Medicare website offers a wonderful nursing home checklist to print out and take to a nursing home visit, and it includes many helpful questions to ask about lighting, noise levels, temperature, and more.
Consider an unscheduled visit to any nursing home under serious consideration. Observing staff and resident interaction will give a more accurate picture of the quality of care.
Trying to determine how to pay for a nursing home can be very stressful. There are many ways to reduce nursing home care costs. The primary way is to request a semi-private room, which will save about $8,000 a year in the St. Paul area.
If a resident has a private insurance, nursing home care may be covered. Residents that qualify for Medicare or Medicaid can use those funds to offset the cost of a stay. Many nursing homes will accept Medicare for residents who qualify.
Long-term life insurance or catastrophic coverage (as in the case of, for instance, a stroke) may also cover most or all of the costs of nursing home care.
Veterans and their spouses may qualify for discounts.
Sometimes more creative solutions must be sought, if insurance, savings, or retirement benefits don’t cover everything. If a senior owns their own home, they might look into a reverse mortgage. Cashing in a life insurance policy is another option. Accountants or financial planners should be consulted before taking any of these steps, of course, to minimize penalties or tax issues.
Find assisted living in Saint Paul near you.