The Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis,
once called the Old Soldiers Home, was built in
the late 1800ís for indigent veterans of the Civil War.
The Home is located on a 51 acre wooded campus overlooking
the Mississippi River near Minnehaha Falls. At the end of
the 19th century the intent was to create a beautiful,
comfortable, community for veterans in need of care in their
later years. Unfortunately, the home has experienced numerous
inspection problems in recent months. Gov. Tim Pawlenty
appointed a seven-member Veterans Long-Term Care Advisory
Commission tasked with recommending ways to end the
Minneapolis home's frequent problems and consider whether the five
Minnesota homes should serve more people than the 863 people
housed in its nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
Since 2005, the Minneapolis Home has been cited by the
state for 67 rule violations, the most recent last month, and
fined $42,300 when the problems were not corrected.
Separately, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which pays
about 20% of the care costs, found 48 violations since
The Minneapolis facility has asked the federal
government to approve a $44 million "Cadillac plan" to renovate
the nursing home. The proposed renovation project, still in
the design phase, would reduce the number of beds in the
home's main building from 250 to 198. The remodeled home would
be divided into 14 to 16 room "neighborhoods," each with
its own kitchen. All the beds in the renovated facility
would be in single rooms with private baths. The home also has
a 91-bed nursing-home dementia unit and a 61-bed
assisted-living facility in separate buildings. It had to stop
taking new nursing-home residents in December while it fixes the
care problems and now has about 350 people on its waiting
list. The homeís governing board has submitted the plan
to federal officials as a project list "place holder." If
approved, the VA would pay 65% of the $44 million cost. The
Legislature would have to approve the remaining $15 million.
As the Minneapolis Home plans a major overhaul, a
commission is considering an expanded role for the five state-owned
residences. The plan would have the board provide an array
of services for the state's 140,000 aging veterans.
Admissions criteria for acceptance in a Minnesota home
include: Honorably Discharge, 181 Consecutive Days on
Active Duty, Minnesota Resident (or had service credited to
Minnesota), Spouses of eligible Veterans over 55 years of age
and reside in the state, and applicants ability to
demonstrate medical need. The states five homes are located at:
- 1821 North Park ST., Fergus Falls MN 56537 Tel: (218)
736-0400 or 1(877) 838-4633.
- 1200 East 18th ST., Hastings, MN 55033 Tel; (651)
438-8504 or 1(877) 838-3803)
- 1300 North Kniss Ave., P.O. Box 539, Luverne MN 56156
Tel: (507) 283-1100 or 1(877) 588-8387.
- 5101 Minnehaha Ave. South, Minneapolis MN 55417 Tel:
(612) 721-0600 or 1(877) 838-6757.
- 45 Banks Boulevard, Silver Bay MN 55614 Tel: (218)
226-6300 or 877-729-8387
[Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune Warren Wolfe article 9 Aug 07 ++]