The Minnesota Board on Aging, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, is looking forward to 2030. We are past the midpoint between our original vision for long-term services and supports and the year that baby boomers start turning 85. It is truly a transformative time in our communities. To that end, we’re revisiting our multi-year commitment to prepare for a permanently older society. Across all Minnesota communities, sectors and generations, we aim to refresh and refocus our efforts. We will celebrate our successes and spark a new kind of conversation about what our future can be so all older adults and their families are supported and communities can thrive.
With critical input from external stakeholders, MN2030 Looking Forward will provide information to the public, the aging network, community organizations, other state agencies, elected officials. The full vision of MN2030 is to set priorities for Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) as well as many other facets of our state communities that leverage the aging of the population.
With the help of our partners we will facilitate “community conversations” to assess the current landscape and prioritize concrete proposals to positively support the life span of all Minnesotans.
How MN2030 Fits with Other Planning Efforts
MN2030 Looking Forward builds on the momentum of the Long-Term Care Task Force (described below). MN2030 Looking Forward also uses the foundation of other state aging initiatives and one DHS-wide bi-partisan legislative proposal called Reform 2020.
Each initiative was an opportunity for the MBA and DHS to assess the long term services and supports landscape and recalibrate priorities. Each effort also allowed the state to reaffirm established polices, like the strategy to support older Minnesotans to age in their home community. The common thread throughout each project was to ensure older Minnesotans live fulfilling lives.
In 1997 DHS initiated a program called Aging Initiative–Project 2030. This expansive effort aimed to understand the demographic trends and how those trends impacted future older Minnesotans and their communities. Project 2030 was the first effort of its kind. No other state looked closely at the demographic realities and the implications of these trends. It sought to identify the impacts of the baby boom generation from a variety of perspectives. More than 20 publications were completed and distributed to key stakeholders around the state.
Specifically, Project 2030 researched housing, funding streams as well as direct and in-direct supports in a variety of settings for older Minnesotans. Direct supports ranged from nursing facility care to assisted living to home nurse or personal care to home-delivered meals. Indirect supports included funding of region-wide initiatives to coordinate service delivery and funding and develop related infrastructure; developmentof coordinated health care systems that consolidate funding from multiple sources; exploration of "cash and counseling" provision to help older adults purchase their own services; operation of an ombudsman’s office; and continuous improvement of systems and processes for accessing necessary services.
Long-Term Care Task Force
In the second half of 2000, the legislature authorized the Long-Term Care Task Force, which was comprised of legislators and state agency commissioners to establish a vision for long-term care. The task force authored the Long-Term Care Task Force Report that recommended short-term and long-term strategies to improve long-term care for older Minnesotans. Instrumental to the task force work was focus groups attended by the general public that helped shape the conversation. Out of its final list of 48 strategies for reshaping long-term care, the task force prioritized 15 strategies for action in the upcoming legislative session. The report serves as foundation on which to build MN2030 Looking Forward priorities.
Similar to MN2030 Looking Forward, the Transform 2010 initiative, co-sponsored by the MBA, DHS and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), sought out assistance from Minnesotans to tackle issues facing older Minnesotans. The purpose of Transform 2010 was to identify the impacts of our state’s aging population and to transform policies, infrastructures and services so that Minnesota could survive and even thrive as this permanent shift occurred. As a result a report called, A Blueprint for 2010: Preparing Minnesota for the Age Wave was published. The report is structured around five main themes:
- Redefining work and retirement
- Supporting caregivers of all ages
- Fostering communities for a lifetime
- Improving health and long-term care
- Maximizing us of technology
Aging 2030 was a joint venture of the MBA, DHS and MDH, along with several other state agencies. This initiative provided tools and resources to help planners and policy makers better prepare Minnesota for the coming age wave of baby boomers and a permanent shift in the age of our state’s population. This initiative built on earlier efforts, like Transform 2010. In fact, Aging 2030 carried over the five themes from Transform 2010.
In 2013, DHS – with federal approval – implemented changes to the states’ long-term services and support system through several reform efforts. Reform 2020, proposed for diverse populations served by DHS, was intended to meet the challenges of rising health care costs (see Reform 2020 Waiver Proposal). One highlight of the changes for older adults included raising eligibility requirements for nursing facility level of care for older Minnesotans. The change was intended to serve lower need older adults with high impact, lower cost services, thereby limiting the use of intensive services such as nursing home care to those with more complex needs. For those older Minnesotans who would not meet the new eligibility criteria, a new program called Essential Community Supports was created. With Essential Community Supports, DHS sought to increase program stability by ensuring that higher intensity, higher cost services are used only when necessary.