Elderly and vulnerable adults now have the right to conduct electronic monitoring, such as with a camera or video streaming device, thanks to a law passed by the 2019 Legislature. The legislation was the most significant reform to state law for elder care in decades. The bill passed with wide, bipartisan support.

If the resident lacks capacity to make decisions, the law allows for resident representatives to make the decision with the resident. 

Electronic monitoring is the placement of a camera or video streaming device in a resident’s room to help the resident, family and others monitor their surroundings and resident care. If a resident occupies a shared room, their roommate must also provide consent. The law also prohibits interfering with electronic monitoring and requires facilities to comply with these requirements.   

As part of the Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2019, the new electronic monitoring law is one of a series of protections for elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans which took effect Jan. 1, 2020. 

“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. If the resident or the resident’s representative fears retaliation as a result of placing an electronic monitoring device, they may install and run the monitoring device for 14 days without giving notice to the facility, provided they submit the consent form to the Office of the Ombudsman of Long-Term Care.”  

Hennen says the Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care is happy to help with any questions or concerns about the new law.

Cheryl Hennen is the Minnesota State Ombudsman for Long-Term Care. The Office of the Ombudsman for Long-Term Care advocates for adults needing or receiving long-term care. The office promotes person-directed living that respects people’s values and preferences, and works to preserve individual rights. 

For more information call 651-431-2555 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3597.

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