Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (MMLA) was named by Governor Dayton as one of five members of the Elder Abuse Consumer Workgroup, a body he appointed in late November to offer recommendations (by January 26th, 2018) on how to address the egregious problems surfaced by a Star Tribune expose on elder abuse (see "Left to Suffer"). The Governor asked AARP to chair the group, which also consisted of the Alzheimer's Association - Minnesota/North Dakota Chapter, Elder Voice Family Advocates, and Elder Justice Center.
Supervising attorneys Genevieve Gaboriault and Ron Elwood represented MMLA in the Consumer Workgroup and contributed to the report submitted to the Governor. The report's recommendations are aimed at improving the system of care, services, and protections for older and vulnerable adults, and are grouped into four areas:
- Strengthening and expanding rights of older and vulnerable adults and their families
- Enhancement of criminal and civil enforcement of rights
- Development of a new licensure framework for assisted living and dementia care
- Improving Department of Health licensing regulation, Office of Health Facilities Complaints enforcement and investigative process, and Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center reporting protocols.
On the conclusion of the group's work, Elwood noted, "The Workgroup is proud of the report and recommendations it has developed in a inordinately short period of time, and hopes the legislature will adopt as many of the recommendations as possible. The situation is grim, and, as the group concludes, 'immediate and dramatic fixes' are necessary."
Read the full report is available here.