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Senior Foster Care Offers Alternative to Nursing Homes
By Brent Wolfe
April 16, 1999
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Nursing homes across Minnesota are facing a serious labor shortage that's forcing some to leave beds empty because they can't find nursing assistants to care for patients. Advocates for senior citizens are looking for ways to attract more workers and they're also looking for alternatives to nursing homes. One such alternative is senior foster care. The system works much like foster care for kids. A family is paid to care for up to five seniors in their home.

This new version of a nursing home is catching on. About 50 families in Olmsted County provide senior foster care. There is training required and homes must meet specific safety guidelines. The program is less expensive than a nursing home would be. On average, senior foster care in Olmsted County costs $300 to $500 a month less than nursing home care.