In August, a 23-year-old Albert Lea woman was charged after a co-worker accused her of assaulting an elderly patient at a care facility. In November, a Windom man admitted to physically and sexually assaulting mentally disabled patients at care facilities in Cottonwood and Jackson counties.

As a result of crimes such as these, a new law allows elderly and vulnerable adults to electronically monitor their surroundings. Interfering with electronic monitoring is prohibited under the law, which also requires compliance from care facilities.

The bill, passed by the 2019 Legislature, allows the placement of a camera or video streaming device in a resident’s room to monitor care.  Under the law, resident representatives can make the decision if the resident lacks the capacity to do so.  In the case that a resident’s room is shared, the roommate must also provide consent.

The law is part of the Elder Care and Vulnerable Adult Protection Act of 2019, which included a series of protections for elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans.