Minnesota legislation effective on Aug. 1, 2021, increases regulatory oversight over assisted living facilities and imposes standards to better protect dementia patients and vulnerable residents from elder abuse and financial exploitation. A few notable provisions within Minn. Stat. Ch. 144G include:
- A bill of rights for those in assisted living facilities.
- Minimum standards for training and care, including a requirement that a facility must develop and implement an individualized abuse prevention plan for each vulnerable adult.
- Mandatory written contracts with patients, and a required final accounting to address refunds and return of property held by the facility.
- A broad definition of “dementia” that focuses on loss of cognitive function rather than a documented diagnoses.
- Mandatory training related to dementia, and a requirement that facilities provide individualized, therapeutic activities to most successfully engage with dementia patients.
- The right of a patient to designate a representative to assist and advocate for the patient.
This legislation will not alleviate the gray areas associated with providing care for those with cognitive decline. Those in decline may make demands that seem counterproductive, which puts caregivers and family members in a difficult position. Family members should plan to be engaged, observant, and proactive.
You can always help protect a vulnerable relative from abuse and exploitation by:
(1) encouraging them to have a well thought-out estate plan and to assign a power of attorney to a highly trusted friend or family member,
(2) watching for the warning signs of physical, emotional, and financial abuse; and
(3) acting quickly when appropriate.
Contact Taft’s Private Client and Wealth Transfer Litigation lawyers to discuss legal options that are available to you when such issues arise.