Minnesota State Capitol Building Exterior, St. Paul Famous Government Dome
The Minnesota state capitol. (Credit: YinYang / Getty Images)

Despite federal agencies’ concerns about senior living and care on the national level, particularly with staffing, there is reason to tout the innovation and tech advancements happening at the state level. 

Minnesota has become a leader in developing an ethic of “smart” living spaces for older adults, equipped with technology to improve their quality of life, several providers and experts said in a recent report

Among the more novel advancements one provider has started in the North Star State is using a system of mounted iPads for memory care. The iPads show pictures of friends and family for memory care residents at senior living community Amira Choice Bloomington, helping them remember their rooms and also serving as a conversation starter. 

Other technology highlighted in a Star Tribune report includes predictive health monitoring in various sites, including some that use artificial intelligence and some that deploy sensors in residences’ refrigerators to capture as much information about their mobility as possible.

At least some of the technology appearing in residences was facilitated through state grants, such as those within Monarch Healthcare Management’s eight senior living and care communities. 

Monarch received $900,000 to put two models into their facilities: Pepper, a robot designed to entertain residents with jokes and dancing, and Rosie, a robot that helps lead yoga classes. 

LeadingAge Minnesota also will be creating a digital resource, due to come out next year, about smart technologies available in communities and facilities throughout the state, the organization announced. 

Minnesota is not by any means the only state where innovations in senior living and care have been introduced. New York, for just one example, announced its “master plan for aging” last year and has partnered with Intuition Robotics to provide assisted living communities with ElliQ, a robot designed to make residents feel less lonely.