AARP AARP States Minnesota Advocacy

New Assisted Living Laws - Effective August 2021

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In 2019, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Elder Abuse and Prevention Act in response to the crisis that emerged on elder abuse. AARP and its members played a key role in advocating for the passage of the law that provides for both Assisted Living Licensure and comprehensive rights for residents and their families in Assisted Living and nursing homes.

While some provisions in the law are in place now, the Assisted Living Licensure and a number of the rights become effective August 1, 2021.

Assisted Living Licensure: Two Types

The new law establishes two types of licensure for assisted living facilities.

  1. Assisted Living
    • One accountable entity responsible for both housing and services
    • Requires facilities to have a licensed and trained assisted living director
    • Additional oversight and inspections by the Department of Health

  2. Assisted Living Plus Dementia Care
    • Enhanced training for staff and programs offered in dementia care standards
    • Optional locked unit
    • Newly constructed facilities must have a secured outdoor space

    Resident and Family Rights

    The new law also puts in place new rights for residents of assisted living facilities and the family members who care for them.

    • Staffing Requirements
        • Must meet the scheduled and reasonably foreseeable unscheduled needs of each resident
        • One or more persons are awake and available 24/7. Must be physically present in a secured dementia care unit
        • Registered Nurse available 24/7
      • Rights Prior to Move-In
        • Facilities must provide a Uniform Disclosure of their services to prospective residents and their families
        • A needs assessment is given by a Registered Nurse prior to move-in
        • Residents will receive a copy of the Bill of Rights
      • Discharge and Service Terminations Protections
        • Residents are protected against unfair discharges and service terminations
        • Residents have the right to appeal a discharge or service eviction to an independent third-party
        • If a move is necessary, a facility must provide a coordinated transfer to a safe new location
      • Protections Against Retaliation
        • Residents of nursing homes/assisted living and their representatives will be protected against retaliation if they raise concerns or file a complaint. The law defines advocacy actions and actions considered retaliatory. The Department of Health will enforce retaliatory actions and can issue fines.
        • Right to Place a Camera
          • Effective January 2020
          • Residents of nursing homes and assisted living settings will have the right to install a camera in their own rooms to monitor care
          • The facility must be notified of the camera except in situations where a resident/family member fears retaliation, or the facility has not been responsive to complaints or a report has been filed
        • "I’m Okay" Checks
          • Assisted Living Facilities and Independent Senior Housing must disclose, if offered, their system of maintaining and documenting the safety of residents to the prospective residents and family members

        Resources

        The law also increased funding for resources that provide advocacy services for residents and their families (Ombudsman office) and a safe place to report suspected abuse or neglect (MAARC).

        • Ombudsman Office: If you need help understanding your rights in long-term care settings, contact 651-431-2555 or 1-800-675-3591.
        • Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC): If you need to report or suspect abuse or neglect, contact 844-880-1574.

        Questions? Contact AARP MN by email at aarpmn@aarp.org or call 1-866-554-5381.
        Stay up to date on other AARP MN Advocacy work by visiting the AARP Minnesota Advocacy Hub. To view a PDF version of our Assisted Living Licensure Handout, click here.

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