The new year offers opportunities to check on how older relatives are doing and how they are planning for the future. Family members can get a fresh look at how well parents, grandparents and other older relatives are coping with their living situations, and resources are available so older adults can get the help they may need to remain healthy and safe at home.
Among resources available through the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Minnesota Board on Aging are:
- Senior LinkAge Line. The Minnesota Board on Aging’s free statewide information and assistance service, at 1-800-333-2433, provides help understanding prescription drug coverage and health care options, and connects callers with transportation services, chore help, meal services, housing options, legal services and more. The Senior LinkAge Line is part of a help network that also includes Disability Linkage Line, 1-866-333-2466; the Veterans Linkage Line, 1-888-LinkVet; and MinnesotaHelp.info, the online service that connects people to a wide variety of services in their communities.
- Own Your Future. The Own Your Future website, mn.gov/ownyourfuture, provides adults of all ages help to plan for and plan to pay for the care most will need in their later years. The website includes the “Own Your Future: Long-term Care Planning Guide.” DHS and the Board on Aging lead the Own Your Future initiative to help Minnesotans of all ages think about help with personal care and household tasks many will need as they grow older.
- Family caregivers. Resources for family caregivers, who provide more than 90 percent of the long-term care needed by older Minnesotans, are available on the Minnesota Board on Aging website, mnaging.net. The Caregiver Resource Guide posted on the site includes checklists to plan for caregiving and for self-care for caregivers.
- Adult protective services. Concerns about possible abuse, neglect or financial exploitation of a loved one can be shared with the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center, which is administered by the Department of Human Services. The center provides a toll-free number, 1-844-880-1574, and the general public can call 24/7 to report suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults.
Vulnerable adults include any person 18 or older who: has a physical or mental illness or other physical, mental or emotional impairment that affects the person’s ability to care for themselves or protect themselves from maltreatment; and/or is staying in a licensed facility, such as a hospital, nursing home or group home; and/or receives services from a licensed provider, such as a home care agency.
Maltreatment can include physical, emotional or sexual abuse; caregiver neglect or self-neglect; or financial exploitation. More information is available at mn.gov/dhs/adult-protection.