For over twenty-five years, non-profit, community-owned Living at Home/Block Nurse Programs have helped elders stay healthy while living in their own homes. Living at Home Network was established as a resource center to support these community efforts and extend the Program model to new neighborhoods, towns and cities. In turn, elders remain safe and independent, while still socially involved in their communities.
If you need elder services, want to start a Program in your community, want to volunteer, support this Program with your gift or just want to learn more, we welcome your contact and look forward to getting to know you.
The Living At Home/Block Nurse Program (LAH/BNP) was initiated by local communities in 1981 out of a deep frustration with the disjointed nature of services then in place for elders. Community residents came together to discuss the needs of their senior neighbors and what emerged was a unique non-profit program model that coordinates volunteers and health professionals from the community to help their older neighbors stay in their own homes.
In 1981, six women in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota organized the first Block Nurse Program. In 1986-87 four other neighborhoods and communities organized their own Programs (two in St. Paul, one in Minneapolis, and one in Greater Minnesota).
At the same time, the Macalester/Groveland and West 7th neighborhoods of St. Paul were selected to implement the Living at Home Program as part of the National Living at Home Demonstration Project. The two models ultimately were merged to form the Living at Home/Block Nurse Program (LAH/BNP).
Under the leadership of Marjorie Jamieson, RN, one of the original Program founders, the Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Inc. was established in 1987 as a Minnesota 501(c)(3) organization to:
– promote the LAH/BNP concept, philosophy and values nationwide and
– effect societal change that encourages and supports ongoing neighborhood based health and long-term care for seniors.
Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Inc., Elderberry Institute and Living at Home Network
In 1987, Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Inc. (LAH/BNP, Inc.) was founded as a technical assistance center to support the growing number of local Programs. With funding support from a number of local and national foundations, replication materials were created and disseminated, resulting in more communities with LAH/BNPs.
In 1991, based upon the demonstrated outcomes of the Program, the State of Minnesota agreed to partially fund seven existing sites and six new sites with annual grants of $20,000 each. Today this state funding for Minnesota Programs has been expanded to support thirty-one sites and constitutes approximately 36% of a typical Program’s annual revenues. You can read more about our funding history by clicking here.
In 1997, Elderberry Institute was established as the education and outreach arm for LAH/BNPs. In 2002, to reduce confusion, “Elderberry Institute” was officially adopted as the new name of the LAH/BNP, Inc. organization. In June of 2010, Elderberry Institute was reorganized as the “Living at Home Network”.
In 2008, the Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, Inc. announced a restructuring that helps local neighborhood-based elder care programs prepare for Minnesota’s demographic shifts. This nonprofit, previously known as the Elderberry Institute, is now renamed the Living At Home Network (LAHN). The renewed organization retains its original mission of supporting this model of care, unique to Minnesota, of assisting older people to continue living in their own homes as long as possible.
“This work is vitally important in this time of demographic changes and tough budgets,” said board chair Ghita Worcester . “Minnesota is lucky to have a very solid network of 43 programs around the state that help our elders receive quality care in their homes and communities. This reorganization will help bolster and coordinate those efforts.”
The restructuring included election of a new board of directors and adoption of a revised budget, while maintaining continuity in the mission, bylaws, and in ongoing management of fiscal agent and grant reporting services. The purpose of the restructuring was to streamline the budget and prioritize services in accordance with current financial realities; and to leverage more directly almost 30 years of grassroots experience and expertise in neighborhood and community-based care. Government and foundation resources have declined in recent years, while the number of Minnesota elders has grown and their economic and health status is threatened in many cases. The budget for the LAHN is smaller than before but more focused on providing services to assist the independent community and neighborhood programs.
The LAHN board of directors is now comprised primarily of representatives of exiting local programs – six members representing Twin Cities-area programs and six members representing Greater Minnesota programs. The board also includes representatives from UCare Minnesota, AARP Minnesota and Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging ® , Inc .
“Local programs make it possible for older people to stay happy and healthy in the homes they love, preventing expensive institutional care for thousands of Minnesotans,” said Board member Mary Quirk of Minneapolis. “This restructuring will help us ‘keep the magic in the neighborhood.’ It is truly almost magical when you see how neighborhoods can come together for a great purpose like this.”