Long-term care options for the growing elderly population

Local News

As people get older, they may need more help with their daily activities.

That’s where residential facilities with long-term care professionals come into play.

Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are popular choices.

The Wellington is an assisted living facility in Minot with about 60 residents.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are similar but Dawn Anderson, Executive Director of the Wellington, said they have their differences.

“Assisted Living mainly is a lot of– people are mostly pretty independent and still able to do a lot of things on their own,” said Dawn, “whereas with a nursing home, they’re also more closely regulated in addition to being able to do more levels of care than we are.”

And then there’s the cost.

“Some facilities do or buildings do accept Medicaid,” said Dawn. “We do not. Everyone here is private pay and sometimes the long-term care insurance will assist with paying for it. Sometimes they sell a life insurance policy.”

Bruce and Mary Anderson are residents and they said they enjoy living here.

“At this point, we can still get around by ourselves but we do need some help in a few things so we felt this was the best place for us,” said Mary.

The pandemic changed the way things were handled at the facility as residents and staff were tested and monitored weekly.

They even received COVID-19 vaccines.

“Unfortunately we had to be closed down like everyone else,” said Dawn. “But I think we started early enough. We did not lose anyone to COVID which I’m very, very happy about and grateful for.”

Bruce thinks the staff handled the pandemic well.

“The staff takes good care of us and they’ve been on top of this COVID thing,” said Bruce. “Really been on top of it so we feel very secure here.”

By 2034, the number of people over the age of 65 will be higher than the number of people under 18.

But at this facility, they feel prepared and that there is room for more people.

“I suppose there’s a possibility that more buildings will need to be built and that kind of thing but, right now I think we’re all generally in pretty good shape for being able to handle more residents,” said Dawn.

It’s National Assisted Living Week, which recognizes the role of assisted living in caring for seniors and people with disabilities.

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