There in an Increasing Need for Senior Care Facilities
As municipalities outside the Twin Cities metro area amend their local zoning requirements to make a way for more senior housing development, the providers of senior care facilities are faced with the increasingly difficult challenge of developing in a market that is heavily saturated.
While the market is saturated, there is still a very high need. In fact, the Minneapolis metro saw nearly 1100 new assisted living units under construction. In addition to those were 261 nursing care units and 260 independent living facilities. In the second quarter of 2013, there were seven new senior housing properties being constructed with another six properties being expanded. This has led to some areas of Minneapolis being saturated by senior housing developments.
The increase in the need for senior care has also brought about another set of concerns and that is the fact that there is a need for nursing staff to take care of these patients.
When there are more patients than what the staff in a facility can handle, the chances of abuse and neglect increase, as well as prescription errors and a plethora of other issues.
Shortage of Vulnerable Adult and Senior Care Facilities
It is expected that the development of sites will level off in Minneapolis due to a decrease in building site availability. This can lead to some facilities looking to locate in communities, such as Bloomington and Lakeville. Lakeville has actually changed its zoning code to allow for the building of more assisted living and memory care units. This change was prompted by the increased interest from senior housing developers.
It is also possible that Minnetonka could see rezoning approval so that a $21 million assisted living and memory care unit can be built.
However, these facilities will have to be staffed and Minnesota is one of the states in the country experiencing a shortage in experienced nursing staff to provide seniors with the care that they require.
At the same time, the metro area is in need of facilities to house the seniors in needs. With working families that are not able to put their lives on hold to take care of an elderly loved one, the reliance on these facilities stem from the seniors that can’t live alone and their families. It is very rare in current times that a senior can be taken care of by a child or grandchild.
The older population is expanding rapidly and they have the desire to be located closer to the medical services that they need. Unfortunately, the home shortage means the demand is not being met. A shortage of staff also means that there is difficulty meeting demand.
So while over-building is a concern in order to create enough space, so is understaffing to ensure those facilities are run the way that they need to be. In fact, both overbuilding and understaffing have been concerns for quite some time. This is in addition to the homeowners within neighborhoods with zoning requirements that have been altered to accommodate these facilities.
Report Suspected Elder Abuse and Neglect in Senior Care Facilities
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about any form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.