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Memory Care Facilities in Minnesota

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Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes and it seems like nearly as many memory care facilities are spread throughout its massive landscape. The state is known for its extraordinary friendliness, as the state is often ranked toward the top as one of the nicest places in the country. As a result, you can expect to find a similar attitude with the best dementia care homes in Minnesota.

Memory Care in Minnesota - Cheapest & Most Expensive Places

The state of 5.5 million residents and growing is not outrageously expensive when it comes to memory care, though it does average higher costs than many other parts of the northern Midwest. Nearby Montana as well as North and South Dakota are substantially cheaper, yet many still prefer the exceptional service in Minnesota Alzheimer’s care facilities.

The Top 5 Most Affordable Cities for Memory Care in Minnesota based on Monthly Median Average:

  1. Mankato, MN - $4,405
  2. Austin, MN - $4,425         
  3. Grand Rapids, MN - $4,450
  4. Brainerd, MN - $4,455
  5. Brooklyn Park, MN - $4,550

The Top 5 Most Expensive Cities for Dementia Care in Minnesota:

  1. Chanhassen, MN - $5,705
  2. Mahtomedi, MN - $5,630
  3. Woodbury, MN - $5,600
  4. Hugo, MN - $5,525
  5. Waconia, MN - $5,515

The Top 5 Most Affordable Counties in Minnesota for Memory Care:

  1. Blue Earth County, MN - $4,405
  2. Mower County, MN - $4,410
  3. Crow Wing County, MN - $4,455
  4. Itasca County, MN - $4,465
  5. Carlton County, MN - $4,570

The Top 5 Most Expensive Counties in Minnesota for Alzheimer’s Care:

  1. Carver County - $5,650
  2. Washington County - $5,560
  3. Scott County - $5,505
  4. Wright County - $5,235
  5. Dakota County - $5,210

Minnesota Dementia & Alzheimer’s Care - Services

“Caring is sharing” is a popular play on “Sharing is caring”, and it goes a long way when it comes to specialized caregiver services like the ones offered at Minnesota dementia care homes. These settings are reserved for loved ones that are struggling with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and need 24-hour, specialized treatment. Along with management and administration of meds, dementia care facilities help provide a safe, clean, comfortable and peaceful setting for residents with cognitive disorders.

Secure perimeters at Minnesota memory care communities allow residents to still enjoy their freedom and independence by moving around the facility, which in turn usually decreases agitation. And, because dementia care homes generally admit fewer people than an assisted living center or nursing home, the smaller number of fellow residents and higher staff to resident ratio can further decrease agitation.

Memory care communities are moving further away from their reliance on psychotropic medications in the hopes of discovering more natural, conductive forms of treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Thus, a fair number of activities in combination of one-on-one as well as group exercises are provided to increase a resident’s alertness as well as activeness. The meaningful activities can go a long way toward brain stimulation and lead to years of healthy, productive living where loved ones remain cognitively aware and mentally happy.

Contact an Alzheimer’s care home in Minnesota for additional information on the services and amenities they can provide for a loved one suffering from dementia.

Minnesota Memory Care Regulations

Memory care is provided in Minnesota as part of assisted living services. It’s offered by specialty facilities rather than generally provided at all assisted living facilities. This is a summary of the regulations that apply to memory care providers in the state of Minnesota.


Assisted living facilities, including memory care facilities, are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health. Licensing regulations have gone through many updates over the years, with licensing standards specific to assisted living only being fully implemented as of 2021.

Licensing can be provided to facilities as either Assisted Living Facilities or Assisted Living Facilities with Dementia Care. This summary will look specifically at the second category of licensing with dementia care.

Licenses for assisted living can be searched in the Department of Human Services database to check the validity of a facility’s license. Find the database here.

General Regulations

All assisted living facilities with dementia care must offer publicly available disclosures to all potential residents looking at the facility. These disclosures should include details about the operations of the facility, including staffing policies, services provided at the facility, philosophy of care for memory impaired residents, admission criteria, staffing policies, resident assessment procedures, costs of services offered, and specific dementia care programs at the facility among other things.

Along with disclosures, all residents will be provided with a resident agreement as they’re entering the facility. This agreement serves to show what the resident will be receiving from the facility and what their specific responsibilities are in the arrangement. Assisted living in Minnesota operates under a renter and tenant model with services provided to the resident (tenant) by the facility staff (renter). Because of this, the facility must make the new resident fully aware of their rights and responsibilities before they are admitted. Resident agreements are signed by the resident and/or their legal representative and the facility representative.

Upon admission or within a short time afterward, residents will undergo an assessment process to understand their specific needs. This process aims to understand the unique medical, physical, and mental needs of the resident and to state how the facility will address those needs. Service plans will also consider the resident’s preferences for their care and any services they are refusing. In the plan, the facility will detail the staff who will be caring for the resident and the level of care they are providing, plus the fee for this care. Service plans act as a reference point for resident needs and must be updated regularly, or whenever resident needs change significantly.

All assisted living facilities must allow qualified third parties to work with residents to provide care the facility cannot. Residents are allowed to get healthcare and personal assistance from third parties beyond what the facility itself provides, as long as their care doesn’t violate the resident agreements or admission policy.

Facility Regulations

Residents are not required to have separate apartments and may have shared residential units. Units must only be shared with the consent of all residents involved.

Memory care facilities must have a secure area for those receiving memory care. This is any area of the facility, whether that’s a specific secured space or the entire facility, that secures or restricts entry and exit. Secure areas should include an outdoor space for resident activities.

Any facility constructed after August 1st, 2021, with memory care licensing must also offer living spaces and common spaces that:

  • Have smoke alarms in living spaces and common areas
  • Contain portable fire extinguishers
  • Include sprinkler systems

Facilities are responsible for keeping the physical environment of their buildings in good repair. The facility itself should in no way impact the healthy, safety, comfort, or well-being of the residents there.

Staffing Regulations

Assisted living facilities must employ a Licensed Assisted Living Director. There should also be a registered nurse on call at all times, though they are not required to be on the premises. Residents should have access to a system that allows them to request care when needed.

While there are no minimum staffing ratio requirements, there must always be a member of staff awake and on duty at memory care facilities. This is a requirement 24/7 at the facility. The responsible person should be in the memory care section of the facility specifically. No matter the time of day, there should always be a high enough level of staff to meet the needs of residents as laid out in their service plans and resident agreements.

All staff at memory care facilities must go through training before they can work with residents directly. This training must include a state-certified education program on care for individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other memory impairments. All direct care staff must go through the training and pass subsequent skills and competency testing.

Along with initial training and testing, all staff must participate in ongoing education throughout the year. This annual training should consist of at least 4 hours of dementia care training.

Minnesota Medicaid Memory Care Programs

Minnesota’s Medicaid program is known as Medical Assistance. This is a state and federal program that provides support for the medical needs of certain low-income individuals, including the elderly and disabled. While this program doesn’t directly cover memory care in assisted living facilities with dementia care, there are waiver programs that can be applied to care received in these facilities.

Room and board are not covered by any of the Medical Assistance waiver programs in Minnesota.

Elderly Waiver

This program allows elderly recipients to receive personal care and limited medical care in a facility outside of a nursing home. The Elderly Waiver can be applied toward care services you receive at an assisted living facility, including personal care and daily living assistance.

Community Access for Disability Inclusion Waiver

This waiver was created to give disabled children and adults under 65 the opportunity to receive care in the community for as long as possible before needing to be admitted into a nursing home. The Community Access for Disability Inclusion waiver can be applied towards the cost of care for disabled individuals, including those with memory impairments that are considered a disability.

Eligibility for Medicaid in Minnesota

To receive support from a Medicaid waiver, individuals must be eligible for Medicaid in Minnesota, unless stated otherwise. Requirements include:

  • Being 65 years of age or above
  • Being a current resident of Minnesota
  • Being in need of nursing home levels of care
  • Meeting the definition of a low-income individual

In 2023, the income limits for Medicaid in Minnesota are as follows:

  • Individuals can earn no more than $2,742 per month and may possess no more than $3,000 in countable assets
  • Married couples who are both going to receive benefits from Medicaid waivers must not earn more than $2,742 per month each for a total of $5,484 per month in total. They must not possess a combined total of more than $6,000 in countable assets
  • For married couples where only 1 spouse is applying for Medicaid, that spouse must meet the same requirements as an individual, but the non-applicant spouse can possess no more than $148,620 in countable assets

Admissions Requirements for Memory Care in Minnesota

Anyone who is admitted to a memory care facility in Minnesota must be able to direct their own care in some way. Those who required specialized care or 24-hour care are not generally eligible for admission unless these services can be reasonably handled by a third party rather than the facility itself.

Residents should be provided with 30 days’ notice of the termination of a residency agreement, except under specific conditions that allow for immediate termination of the agreement.

Moving Your Loved One to a Minnesota Memory Care Facility

After the difficult decision is made to relocate your loved one to a memory care facility, how do you help them to move to the new memory care facility in Minnesota? Here are some tips on easing the transition.

Remind Them about the Move

From the moment the decision is made for your loved one to enter memory care, make sure you remind them about the move regularly. Help them to keep it on their mind so it won’t come as a shock when the moving day finally comes.

Take your loved one to see the facility and meet some of the facility staff who will be caring for them so they can get more comfortable with the place before it’s time to go. The idea is to ease your loved one into a new living situation, so they don’t feel surprised or abandoned.

Set Up Personal Belongings before the Move

When you’ve secured a room for your loved one, take the time to bring some of their personal possessions to the new space and set them up before they arrive. Do this before moving day, so your loved one can arrive and find some of their personal things in their new space already. This small step can help them feel at home more quickly.

Bring along a box with a few other items they can set up on their own to help them settle into the space. By setting up their own space in some way, you’ll help your loved one mentally shift to the new living situation and recognize the new place more quickly.

Move Slowly and Deliberately

Remember that no matter how stressful this move feels for you, it’s far more stressful for your loved one who is leaving their home. Give them time and an abundance of patience throughout the process, but don’t give up. Make sure you have a plan to make it as easy as possible for them. Allow time for them to adjust to the new living situation.

Common Questions About Memory Care in Minnesota

1. What is memory care, and how does it differ from other senior care options?

Memory care in Minnesota is specialized senior care designed for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. It provides a safe and supportive environment with trained staff who understand the unique needs of memory-impaired individuals. Unlike assisted living or independent living, memory care focuses on dementia-specific care and programming.

2. What is the average cost of memory care in Minnesota?

The cost of memory care in Minnesota can vary widely depending on the location, level of care required, and amenities offered. On average, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $7,000 per month. Costs may be higher in metropolitan areas like Minneapolis and St. Paul compared to smaller cities like Moorhead or Winona.

3. What services are typically included in memory care facilities in Minnesota?

Memory care facilities in Minnesota offer a range of services tailored to the needs of individuals with dementia. These services often include 24/7 supervision, assistance with activities of daily living, specialized memory-enhancing activities, medication management, and a secure environment to prevent wandering. Residents in cities like Duluth and Eagan can access these services.

4. How do I know if my loved one needs memory care in Minnesota?

Recognizing the need for memory care in Minnesota involves observing signs such as memory loss, confusion, changes in behavior, and difficulty with daily tasks. Consulting with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive assessment is advisable. Additionally, discussing the situation with memory care communities in cities like Bloomington and Woodbury can help determine if it's the right fit.

5. What safety measures are in place in memory care facilities to protect residents in Minnesota?

Memory care facilities in Minnesota prioritize the safety of residents. They often feature secure entrances and exits to prevent wandering, trained staff who understand dementia-related behaviors, and emergency response systems. Many also have structured routines and activities that promote familiarity and reduce anxiety for residents in places like Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Rochester.

6. Are there financial assistance programs available for memory care in Minnesota?

Yes, Minnesota offers financial assistance programs for memory care, including Medicaid programs like Elderly Waiver (EW) and the Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) waiver. These programs can help cover the costs of memory care based on eligibility criteria, offering support to residents and families in cities like St. Cloud and Edina.

7. How can I find memory care facilities in Minnesota that specialize in a particular type of dementia?

To find memory care facilities in Minnesota that specialize in a specific type of dementia, you can consult with healthcare professionals, such as neurologists or geriatric specialists, who can provide recommendations. Additionally, you can contact local Alzheimer's or dementia associations for referrals. Memory care communities in cities like Duluth and Eagan may offer specialized programs for different types of dementia.

8. What activities and therapies are available in memory care facilities to stimulate cognitive function?

Memory care facilities in Minnesota offer a variety of activities and therapies designed to stimulate cognitive function. These may include reminiscence therapy, music therapy, art activities, brain games, and sensory experiences. The goal is to engage residents' minds and enhance their overall well-being, with options available in cities like Bloomington, Woodbury, and Mankato.

9. What are the admission requirements for memory care facilities in Minnesota?

Admission requirements for memory care facilities in Minnesota typically involve a comprehensive assessment of the resident's cognitive and physical health. This assessment helps determine the level of care needed. Facilities may also have specific criteria related to the type and stage of dementia they can accommodate. It's essential to discuss these requirements with individual facilities, whether you're considering options in Duluth, Eagan, or Mankato.

10. Can I visit my loved one in a memory care facility at any time?

Memory care facilities in Minnesota typically have designated visiting hours to ensure residents' routines and privacy. However, many facilities are accommodating and allow family visits outside of these hours. It's best to check with the specific facility regarding their visitation policies and options for spending time with your loved one in places like Rochester, St. Cloud, or Minneapolis.

11. What is the level of staff-to-resident ratio in memory care facilities in Minnesota?

The staff-to-resident ratio in memory care facilities varies depending on the size of the facility and the specific needs of the residents. Minnesota has regulations in place to ensure resident safety and well-being. It's important to discuss staffing levels and the level of care provided with each facility you consider, whether you're in Moorhead, Winona, or Woodbury.

12. Can residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota receive medical care and assistance?

Yes, residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota can receive medical care and assistance. Many facilities have partnerships with healthcare providers who can visit the facility to provide medical services. Additionally, staff members are trained to assist with medication management and can respond to medical emergencies effectively, ensuring residents' health and safety in cities like Duluth and Eagan.

13. What measures are in place to promote socialization among residents in memory care facilities?

Memory care facilities in Minnesota recognize the importance of socialization for residents' well-being. They often organize group activities, communal dining, and shared spaces to encourage interaction. Additionally, residents are matched with peers who have similar interests and abilities, fostering friendships and a sense of community, whether they're in Bloomington, Woodbury, or Mankato.

14. Can residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota go on outings or excursions?

Yes, residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota can participate in outings and excursions. Many facilities organize trips to local attractions, parks, and cultural events to provide residents with enriching experiences. These outings are designed to be safe and enjoyable, allowing residents to explore their surroundings and create meaningful memories in cities like Rochester, St. Cloud, and Minneapolis.

15. Are there memory care facilities in Minnesota that accept Medicaid?

Yes, there are memory care facilities in Minnesota that accept Medicaid, particularly through Medicaid waiver programs like Elderly Waiver (EW) and the Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) waiver. These programs can help cover the costs of memory care for eligible individuals. It's important to inquire about Medicaid acceptance when exploring memory care options, whether you're in St. Paul, Minneapolis, or Rochester.

16. Can family members be involved in the care planning process for residents in memory care facilities?

Yes, family members are encouraged to be involved in the care planning process for residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota. Facilities often hold care meetings that include family members to discuss the resident's individualized care plan, preferences, and any updates or changes in their condition. This collaborative approach ensures that the resident's needs are met effectively and that family members are informed and engaged in the process in places like Duluth, Eagan, and Mankato.

17. Can residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota bring personal belongings from home?

Yes, residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota can typically bring personal belongings from home. Many facilities encourage residents to personalize their living spaces with familiar items such as photographs, decorations, and small pieces of furniture. These personal touches can provide comfort and a sense of familiarity in their new environment, whether they're in Moorhead, Winona, or Woodbury.

18. How do memory care facilities in Minnesota handle emergencies and evacuations?

Memory care facilities in Minnesota have emergency plans in place to ensure the safety of residents in various situations, including natural disasters or medical emergencies. Staff members are trained to follow these protocols, and facilities often conduct regular drills to practice emergency procedures. Families are typically notified promptly in the event of an emergency, and residents' well-being is a top priority in cities like Moorhead, Winona, and Woodbury.

19. Can residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota continue to see their current healthcare providers?

Residents in memory care facilities in Minnesota may continue to see their current healthcare providers if arrangements can be made for onsite visits or transportation to appointments. Many facilities also have relationships with local healthcare professionals who can provide necessary medical care. Ensuring continuity of care is a priority for the well-being of residents in places like Duluth, Eagan, and Mankato.

20. How can I compare different memory care facilities in Minnesota to find the right one for my loved one?

Comparing memory care facilities in Minnesota involves conducting research, visiting potential facilities, and asking questions. Consider factors such as location, cost, staff-to-resident ratio, safety measures, specialized programs, and the overall atmosphere. Reading reviews and talking to current residents and their families can also provide valuable insights. Ultimately, choosing the right memory care facility is a personal decision that should align with your loved one's needs and preferences in cities like Rochester, St. Cloud, and Minneapolis.

Minnesota Memory Care Facilities

ELY provides comprehensive resources on various senior living options, including: assisted living facilities, senior living communities, nursing homes, independent living communities, continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) and all other long term senior care options, including memory care such as Alzheimer's or Dementia.

Additional senior living options in Minnesota:

Assisted Living in Minnesota Senior Apartments in Minnesota Nursing Homes in Minnesota

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