Elder Care Protection Law Now in Effect

Elder Care Protection Law Now in Effect Click to Enlarge Photo: Unsplash

(KNSI) - What the Department of Human Services is calling the most significant piece of legislation for elder care in decades is now in effect.

The Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2019 went into effect January 1 and allows families to place electronic monitoring devices such as video cameras or streaming devices in a patient's room.

The law passed with bi-partisan support at the capitol last year and states, "If the resident lacks capacity to make decisions, the law allows for resident representatives to make the decision with the resident" to place "a camera or video streaming device in a resident’s room to help the resident, family, and others monitor their surroundings and resident care."

The law also prohibits interfering with electronic monitoring and requires facilities to comply with the requirements.

If they share a room, the other occupant must also give consent.

Families who fear retaliation from the facility are also allowed to place a camera in the room for 14 days without staff knowing, provided they file a consent form wtih the Office of the Ombudsman of Long-Term Care.

“The new electronic monitoring law in Minnesota mandates facilities to inform residents of their right to install monitoring devices and have consent forms available,” says Cheryl Hennen, State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care. “Most often residents and family members consider the use of monitoring devices as protection against abuse"

Hennen says her office is happy to answer any questions. Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care Main/Intake 651-431-2555 Toll-Free 1-800-657-3597.