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Page Reviewed / Updated – January 4, 2024
Brainerd is located close to an array of Minnesota’s northern lakes, offering beautiful vistas and outdoor enjoyment for its retirees. This small city of about 14,600 residents has a strong senior community making up around 16.1% of the population, and boasts a thriving local senior center with a full schedule of classes and entertainment.
Brainerd is a senior-friendly city for other reasons, too. The city’s summer climate is nearly perfect, and what’s more, its cost of living falls well below the national average. Brainerd’s health care costs are also below average, and it boasts a higher number of physicians than many U.S. cities. Seniors can use Essentia Health – St. Joseph’s Medical Center for primary and emergency care, and have close access to a Level III Trauma Center, the St. Joseph’s Cancer Center and the Marilyn Covey Heart & Vascular Center.
Seniors in Brainerd have a variety of assisted living communities to choose from when they need some extra help with personal care or housekeeping. Assisted living rates run about $4,100 per month, according to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey. This is lower than the national average of $4,500 and the Minnesota average of $4,508.
Note: Data for Brainerd was unavailable, so data for the nearest city, St. Cloud, was used instead.
This guide offers a sneak peek of the 10 best assisted living communities in and around Brainerd.
Carefree Living Brainerd
Carefree Living Brainerd is located on the city’s east side, surrounded by green spaces and mature trees but not far from shopping and dining options. Residents live in furnished rooms, each with a private bathroom and individual climate control. Caregivers are on-hand 24/7 to provide personal assistance with bathing, grooming and mobility as well as medication management. Housekeeping and laundry services are available so residents can relax and focus on enjoying the amenities. The community’s dining program offers three home-cooked meals per day and three tasty snacks. Seniors are invited to gather in cozy common areas, including a library and TV lounge, and to participate in scheduled daily activities.
Good Samaritan Society – Woodland
Good Samaritan Society – Woodland is across the street from a large park with walking trails and beautiful natural scenes for enjoyable views of the outdoors. Residents receive a basic services package, but can customize it to fit their personal needs. Caregivers assist with personal care, medications, housekeeping and laundry, and can provide transportation as needed. Three meals per day are included in the package to ensure residents' nutritional needs are met. Seniors’ days are filled with educational and recreational activities, and they can get involved in wellness programs to help them thrive physically, mentally and emotionally. The community also offers spiritual support and programming for religious residents.
Good Samaritan Society – Bethany
Good Samaritan Society – Bethany is on the outskirts of Brainerd, blending beautiful natural vistas with easy access to entertainment and medical care. The community offers plenty of entertainment on-site, with daily programming ranging from classes to games to socials. The wellness program provides exercise sessions, and residents have access to spiritual gatherings and support. Seniors receive personalized care plans covering hygiene, medication management and household tasks. They don’t have to think about maintenance, lawn mowing or snow removal because those tasks are taken care of by the team. What's more, residents don't have to cook if they choose not to because the community provides three delicious meals per day.
Silver Maple Residence
Silver Maple Residence is a homelike assisted living community tucked into a residential neighborhood with expansive lawns and attractive landscaping. It provides all the necessities seniors need to thrive no matter what their stage in life. Top of the community's list is companionship. Seniors gather for activities and socialization each day, and can always count on someone being nearby for assistance or conversation. Caregivers offer 24-hour personal care and medication support as well as housekeeping and laundry. They also arrange transportation for appointments and outings. Residents don’t have to worry about cooking either because staff members serve three meals and three snacks each day.
Edgewood Baxter is surrounded by wide open spaces, but it’s also close to shopping and dining options for enjoyable outings. This community makes our top 10 list because it's one of the best in the area for comfortable yet elegant common areas. A grand staircase offers an attractive welcome, and residents can settle into soft chairs and sofas gathered around a fireplace to relax, chat or listen to music. A library, theater, sun room and game room provide plenty of space for enriching activities. Outdoors, seniors can stroll in beautifully landscaped gardens and courtyards. Staff members assist with daily living activities, medication, health monitoring and household tasks. Each resident receives an emergency call pendant for added peace of mind.
North Lakes Senior Living
North Lakes Senior Living is close to all the action in Baxter, with malls, restaurants and a movie theater right down the street. This community is one of the best in the area and makes our top 10 list for its wide variety of amenities and activities. For instance, most days start with exercise sessions. Later, seniors gather for games, movies, music and outings. Lifelong learning classes encourage minds to stay sharp and allow seniors to explore new interests and ideas. The community offers spacious common areas indoors and out, and seniors can relax in the library, languish on the patio or stroll through the gardens or along the Paul Bunyan Trail, which runs by the property.
Hills Crossing Senior Living
Hills Crossing Senior Living isn't far from Nisswa’s many lakes and parks — ideal for seniors who love to be outside. This community appears on our top 10 list because it has one of the best dining programs in the area. The culinary team prepares three fresh, home-cooked meals each day and serves them in the beautifully decorated dining room where residents can savor the atmosphere along with flavors and conversation. The Culinary Club meets regularly so residents can share recipes, learn new cooking techniques and contribute their feedback and ideas. Seniors also benefit from 24-hour support with personal care, medications and housekeeping as well as having access to an abundance of activities.
Heartwood is in the midst of a nature-lover’s paradise with nearby lakes, beautiful views and easy access to the walking paths and the Cuyuna Lakes Bike Trail. Residents receive the support they need with personal care and household tasks and have plenty of opportunities for socialization and recreational activities. In fact, the calendar is filled with everything from exercise sessions to games to parties. Seniors enjoy frequent Bible study, book club meetings and movies, too. The dining program offers flexible scheduling for meals and features a menu filled with delicious options for many tastes and dietary needs. Weekly Sunday brunch and Gourmet Meals to Go on Fridays make the community a great choice for foodies.
Golden Horizons of Crosslake
Golden Horizons of Crosslake is near the shores of the majestic Cross Lake, and it's surrounded by evergreens. The community’s decor offers a taste of the north woods with a rustic stone fireplace, cozy seating and country charm. Seniors have access to 24-hour support with personal care, plus housekeeping, laundry and three home-style meals per day are taken care of by staff. Snacks and beverages are available 24/7 in the café. Residents can enjoy watching movies in the theater, playing games in the activity room and attending worship services in the chapel. There's even a sun room and whirlpool therapy room for relaxation. Outdoors, seniors can enjoy walking paths, gardens and seating areas.
Whitefish at the Lakes
Whitefish at the Lakes is located near restaurants, shops, lakes and a golf course for enjoying outings any time. There's plenty to do right in the community, too, with the Inspire Wellness for Life program offering exercise sessions, socialization, creative activities and recreation. Seniors can gather in the bistro and pub room for conversation, entertain friends in the great room or courtyard, work out in the fitness room or relax in the grand bath with its whirlpool spa. Each resident receives a custom health and wellness program that may include help with personal care, medication and housekeeping. Seniors can choose meal plans to suit their individual needs and tastes.