A new law offers seniors a bill of rights and sets up funding to enforce new parameters around eldercare at assisted living facilities around the state.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) invited the bill’s author and impassioned champion Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point) to his district on Sept. 13 to explain the bill’s impact first hand to residents at McKenna Crossing.

Housley said that the bill, known as the Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2019, helps residents and families navigate the “overwhelming” experience of Minnesota elder care.

“What reared it’s ugly head during all this committee time was the failure of our government to really protect our seniors,” Housley said.

Housley’s bill was signed into law in May by Governor Tim Walz. The bill creates a resident bill of rights for seniors in assisted living facilities — establishing residents’ right to complain about their care, protections against any retaliation following a complaint and an explicit right for seniors to track their care through the use electronic monitoring devices in their rooms.

The bill also breaks new ground in the creation of a new framework licensing for both standard assisted living facilities and facilities with dementia care services in the state. More than $30 million was set aside to help implement the licensure requirements which set to go into effect by August 1, 2021.

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