Reporting Suspected Neglect of Nursing Home Residents
Minnesota law mandates safe environments and services for vulnerable adults and protective services for vulnerable adults who have been maltreated. The DHS Adult Protective Services Unit provides training and consultation to citizens, service providers, counties, law enforcement and state agencies regarding the Minnesota Vulnerable Adult Act [Minnesota Statute Section 626.557 (1995)]. The unit also develops policy and best practices and collects and evaluates data to prevent maltreatment and plan adult protection services.
According to Minnesota Statute 626.5772, Subd. 2, “abuse” can include many things, including: an act against a vulnerable adult that constitutes a violation of, an attempt to violate, or aiding and abetting a violation of an assault, the use of drugs to injure or facilitate crime, the solicitation, inducement, and promotion of prostitution, criminal sexual conduct as well as, the act of forcing, compelling, coercing, or enticing a vulnerable adult against the vulnerable adult’s will to perform services for the advantage of another.
More information about elder abuse is available from the National Adult Protective Services Association, NAPSA.
According to NAPSA, if you witness a life-threatening situation involving a senior or adult with disabilities, dial 911. Contact your local Adult Protective Services agency anytime you observe or suspect the following:
- Sudden inability to meet essential physical, psychological or social needs which threatens health, safety or well-being
- Disappearing from contact with neighbors, friends or family
- Appearing hungry, malnourished, or with a sudden weight loss
- Appearing disoriented or confused
- Suddenly appearing disheveled or wearing soiled clothing
- Failing by caregiver(s) to arrive as scheduled — or disappearing without notice
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or insignificance
- Failing to take prescribed medications or nutritional supplements
- Blaming self for problems arising with family or caregivers
- Living in squalor or hazardous situations such as hoarding or cluttering
Minnesota Elder Neglect and Abuse Reporting System
Minnesota has a new central system for reporting suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults, through a common entry point available 24/7 at 1-844-880-1574 a toll free phone number for the general public.
This Adult Protection website offers information on how to report abuse and neglect in many different languages.
Reporting Abuse Requirements for Mandated Reporters
Mandated reporters include law enforcement, educators, doctors, nurses, social workers and other licensed professionals. Pursuant to Minnesota Statute 626.5772, Subd. 16.,”mandated reporter” means a professional or professional’s delegate while engaged in: (1) social services; (2) law enforcement; (3) education; (4) the care of vulnerable adults; (5) any of the occupations referred to in section 214.01, subdivision 2; (6) an employee of a rehabilitation facility certified by the commissioner of jobs and training for vocational rehabilitation; (7) an employee or person providing services in a facility as defined in subdivision 6; or (8) a person that performs the duties of the medical examiner or coroner.
Mandated reporters reporting an allegation of suspected maltreatment of a vulnerable adult that did not occur in Minnesota must make the report to the state in which the allegation occurred. The National Adult Protective Services Association has information for reporting in all states.