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Prime Time: Helping Minnesotans stay independent

When you or a loved one has long term needs, trying to determine how to get help and what services exist can be difficult.

The Minnesota Long-term Care Choices Navigator is an award-winning, easy-to-use Internet tool located at The Long-term Care Choices Navigator is an interactive, web-based tool that helps seniors and their families and caregivers determine what they need to live well and age well. It guides them to resources in their local community and creates a custom plan they can save, print, e-mail and refine over time.

The Navigator helps you create a personalized plan, no matter where you live in Minnesota, to help you or the person you are helping find what is needed to live well and age well in the community.

Long-term Care Choices was developed to assist older Minnesotans and their caregivers to age well, live well, plan well and care well.

Developed through a collaborative effort among numerous aging and disability-related agencies and organizations, Long-term Care Choices is a widely used web-based decision tool for seniors, families, caregivers and professionals. This tool can be used to identify needs, locate community services and create a plan of care. People using Long-term Care Choices can learn about the various housing and care options available in Minnesota and receive a personal plan based on their needs. This program empowers caregivers to have more control in developing the care recipient's care plan on a continuing basis.

Long-Term Care Choices is comprised of eight assessments: a section outlining housing options; a page to assist people relocate from a nursing home; and a guide called Next Steps for families who want to begin talking about long-term care needs. A completed assessment will generate a set of local service providers and add the service to a plan that is forming behind the scenes. When the user has completed the questions and selected services to meet their needs, the survey can be printed or saved. Information is stored on a secure server that can be accessed only with a valid login and password. Multiple plans can be developed for the same person to track conditions over time or a single plan can be modified as needs change.

If you have questions about the Long-term Care Choices Navigator, please call the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433 or you can have a live chat with a Senior LinkAge Line specialist by visiting

The Minnesota Board on Aging has published the 2011 edition of Health Care Choices for Minnesotans on Medicare. The booklet is available online at or by calling Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433. Press 0 when you hear the greeting to leave your request for a printed copy.

This article is made possible with Older Americans Act dollars from the Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging.

Karin Haugrud is the Senior Linkage Line specialist.