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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Work Group on the Health and Safety of Minnesota Seniors

Also known as:
Elder Abuse Consumer Workgroup
Active dates:2017-2018
Established by Governor Mark Dayton

The work group will protect the rights of senior living facility residents and families and connect them to resources by: reviewing the current state and federal regulatory, licensing, compliance, and enforcement requirements, and recommending changes if these requirements are insufficient to deter potential abuse and protect seniors and families from retaliation from providers; clarifying and strengthening the statutory definitions of memory care, assisted living, and housing with services so consumers and families can make informed decisions on proper placement for seniors; and recommending changes to current law to ensure that family members are informed about how to report suspected abuse and neglect, including the Minnesota Vulnerable Adults Reporting Center and the Ombudsman for Long Term Care.

The work group will improve communication with family members and law enforcement about allegations of abuse by: recommending changes to current law to remove barriers and improve communication with family members when there is alleged abuse, including the complaints and investigations processes within the Office of Health Facility Complaints and self-reports from providers; and recommending changes to current law ensure proper reporting to law enforcement about potential abuse.


On November 15, 2017, Governor Mark Dayton announced he would form a group to address abuses in senior living facilities. His announcement followed a five-part series in the Star Tribune which brought increased attention to the matter.

A press released dated November 30, 2017 outlined more details of the group: "[This] independent work group will be led and convened by AARP Minnesota, in conjunction with other senior organizations [such as Elder Voice Family Advocates], to provide guidance on how the state can better serve Minnesota seniors. Recommendations of the work group will inform legislative proposals ahead of 2018 Legislative Session. Among requested recommendations are strategies to protect the rights of residents and families, connect them to resources, and improve communication about allegations of abuse." 

The work group will engage other consumer-oriented organizations in addition to AARP, including Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota, the Minnesota Elder Justice Center, and the grass-roots Elder Voice Family Advocates.

The group published its final report on January 29, 2018. 


The work group is led by officials from Minnesota AARP. Other members of the group include representatives from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, the Alzheimer's Association of Minnesota, the Elder Justice Center, and Elder Voice Family Advocates. 

The following individuals served on the work group: Mary Jo George and Maureen O’Connell (AARP); Beth McMullen (Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter); Kris Sundberg, Jean Peters, and Suzy Scheller, (Elder Voice Family Advocates); Ron Elwood and Genevieve Gaboriault (Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid); Amanda Vickstrom and Iris Freeman (Minnesota Elder Justice Center).

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 2017-2018.
Record last updated: 10/16/2020

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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