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2277 Highway 36 West, Suite 200 Roseville, MN 55113-3830
Phone: 612-378-2742
Toll Free: 1-800-669-6442
Fax: 612-378-2789
E-Mail:info@braininjurymn.org
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Housing/Home Modifications

Housing/Home Modification

This section provides information about different housing options for persons with brain injury.

Issues to Consider
When deciding on the best housing option for a person with a brain injury, there are many issues to consider. Persons with brain injury and their loved ones should ask:

  1. What kind of living situation is desired by, and acceptable to, the person with brain injury?
  2. What kind of funding is required for this program?
  3. What kind of living situation is needed to meet the physical, safety, cognitive and social needs of the person with brain injury?
  4. How will family members be involved in the care and rehabilitation process? What demands on time and energy are realistic and feasible?
  5. What potential does the person with brain injury have for improvement and rehabilitation?
  6. What kind of living situation will best foster improvement and rehabilitation?
  7. How can we create a system in which the person with brain injury is able to live as independently as possible while family members and friends maintain productive lives?
  8. Will the housing facility create an environment that is responsive to our cultural needs and values?
  9. What are your transportation needs?

Housing for Seniors
The Senior Linkage Line can help seniors in all areas of Minnesota find housing, long-term care facilities, adult day services, assisted living and hospice care. The Senior Linkage Line also can refer persons to transportation resources for seniors. For more information, call 800-333-2433.

Housing Options
After a brain injury, many individuals experience difficulty with judgment, behavior, memory, attention span or confusion that may lead to unsafe living situations. Individuals and families may need to create an environment that encourages safe practices regarding cooking, the use of electrical equipment, answering the door, telephone and any other activity that could pose a safety risk. In addition, access to car keys, alcohol or weapons may need to be addressed. The following housing options are organized from most to least independent living situations. In the case that housing outside of the home is determined to be the best for your individual circumstances, there is a list of questions to ask housing providers at the end of this section. Be sure to bring the list when interviewing and selecting a facility.

Living with Family
If the person with brain injury is returning home, alterations may need to be made to make the home accessible. For example, a person with brain injury may need a ramp to enter the home, rearranged furniture, wider doorways or a renovated bathroom. There are many contractors with specialized knowledge and skills in this area. There are several home-renovation funding sources, including low- or no-interest loans, that individuals or families may be eligible to receive. For more information about funding resources, contact your local Center for Independent Living (CIL), or visit: www.macil.org. Before you hire someone to work in your home, be sure to check qualifications, experience and references.

Home Health Care Options
If care for the person with brain injury within the home proves too difficult for family members, Home Health Care (HHC) options are available. See the financial section for more information about funding sources.

Respite Housing
The purpose of respite care is to provide short-term care for individuals with disabilities while giving a temporary break to their regular caregivers. Unfortunately, respite opportunities in Minnesota are limited. A Waiver may cover respite services. Speak to the county case manager to see if this is an option. Some long-term care facilities or home health care agencies may offer respite services on a case-by-case basis. If you are in a financial position to pay for respite care yourself, more options may exist.

Renting
is not able to perform home maintenance. Living expenses can be minimized if the person with brain injury is willing and able to share housing with one or more individuals. Rent subsidies or assistance may be available through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. For information about eligibility and who to contact, visit their Web site at www.hud.gov.

Board and Lodge/Assisted Living
In a board and lodge facility, people live, cook, and eat fairly independently. Facility staff members are on hand to ensure safety. Assisted living facilities are usually privately owned and offer a variety of support services and independent living assistance based on the individual's needs and ability to pay.

Adult Living Facilities
Often called residential care, adults live together in a family-like setting. Corporations run these facilities. Some facilities limit their admissions to a single age group or gender. Some facilities will focus on brain injury while others will have a more general focus. In many homes, residents contribute to the operation of the house in terms of chores and meal preparation.

Adult Foster Homes
Residences are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Human Services to provide personal services for persons with disabilities in private homes. Adult foster homes are very similar to adult living facilities, with the main difference being that adult foster homes are licensed private residences as opposed to corporate facilities.

Many housing providers serve persons with a variety of disabilities, while others work exclusively with brain injury. Any community provider that maintains ongoing training specific to brain injury and embraces a holistic person-centered approach may be a suitable consideration.

Questions to Ask Housing Providers
It is important to consider a number of factors when evaluating established housing options. Questions to ask vary depending upon an individual's housing needs. Potential questions include:

  • What are the fees and what will the fees cover? Will there be additional expenses?
  • How is this program paid for? (private insurance, governmental assistance, etc.)
  • Are the bedrooms and bathrooms private or shared?
  • How are physical, cognitive, behavioral and medical challenges handled?
  • What is a typical daily schedule for residents?
  • What meals are provided? Do residents help with meal preparation?
  • How is communication between the provider and family/guardians fostered?
  • How are family members and friends included in a resident's activities?
  • Is independence encouraged and supported? Can the services provided be adapted when a client demonstrates an increased level of functioning?
  • What are the professional qualifications and experience of the staff?
  • What are the ongoing staff training requirements?
  • What is the staff to resident ratio? What is the turnover rate of the staff?
  • How does this facility encourage optimum community involvement?
  • What is your crisis plan for situations that have the potential to become unmanageable?

Try to find at least three housing providers to tour and interview before you make a decision. Some options are listed in this guide. The listing of housing in this guide include facilities that chose to advertise in this guide. While efforts have been made to provide as many options as possible, this is not a complete list. You are encouraged to choose a housing option that allows both the person with brain injury and the family to live as independently as possible.

Feel free to call your local county social service office found in the phone listing section or the Brain Injury Alliance Minnesota at 612-378-2742 or 800-669-6442 for a more complete list of housing options or for further assistance.

You can schedule a tour of any housing options that you consider. Pay attention to cleanliness, safety and security, and overall atmosphere. Observe the manner in which staff members interact with residents.

Continue to the next section, "Independent Living Skills."