Sometimes finding the right place to go for what you need, can be difficult. Select the best starting point, and they can direct you to your best source for help. Here are some great places to start.
Finding the right services
Senior Linkage Line®
The Senior LinkAge Line® is Minnesota’s one stop shop for seniors, connecting individuals throughout Minnesota with local services. Senior LinkAge Line information specialists help older adults:
- Evaluate complex living situations to determine the help each individual needs
- Connect older adults and their caregivers to resources for housing, transportation, chore help, legal services, caregiver support and more
- Answer Medicare and insurance questions and help persons of all ages access the prescriptions they need
- Follow up to ensure needs are met
The Senior Linkage Line can be reached at 1-800-333-2433.
Disability Linkage Line
To learn about resources for Minnesotans with disabilities or chronic illnesses, visit the Disability Linkage Line or, to talk one-on-one with a specialist, call 1-866-333-2466. The Disability Link makes it easy to explore options and make decisions about services, benefits, employment, health care, and more.
The MinnesotaHelp.info website is a comprehensive database of community resources for individuals, caregivers, and service providers. Search for resources by keywords, topics, or geographic area.
For Minnesota families who are seeking help for someone in another state, the Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. It connects you to services for older adults and their families. Eldercare locator can also be reached at 1-800-677-1116.
Veterans Linkage Line
Visit the Veterans Linkage Line for information and service for Minnesota veterans. Call 1-888-LinkVet (1-888-546-5838).
If your loved one is receiving care from a licensed caregiver, the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care may be able to help. Ombudsman are people in your area who can help you resolve complaints and concerns with licensed services.
The state office staff and the regional ombudsmen serving the 7-county metropolitan area are located in St. Paul. Nine regional offices are located statewide. There is also a regional ombudsman located on the campus of the Minneapolis Veterans Home. These advocates help individuals and families resolve issues with providers.
Regional ombudsmen and volunteers work to enhance the quality of life and services for people receiving long-term services and supports. The program also advocates for reform in long-term care through changes in state law, federal law and administrative policy.
What is An Ombudsman?
An ombudsman is an independent consumer advocate who is employed by the Minnesota Board on Aging who:
- Investigates complaints about the health, safety, welfare and rights of Minnesotans receiving long-term services and supports
- Works to identify problems and resolve individual concerns
- Provides information and help with long-term care services, consumer rights and regulations
- Resolves disputes between consumers and providers about long-term care services
- Works with providers to promote a culture in which people have and can make choices
Who Can the Ombudsman Help?
- Residents of nursing homes and board and care homes, including veterans’ homes
- Residents of adult care homes, such as housing with services, assisted living, customized living or foster care
- People receiving home care services
- Medicare beneficiaries who have concerns about getting into or being discharged from hospitals
- Anyone seeking help with long-term services and supports
To find your regional ombudsman call (651) 431-2555 or 1-800-657-3591.
Making a Report
If you intend to make a formal report of suspected maltreatment, please call the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center at 844-880-1574. The Minnesota Elder Justice Center is an independent nonprofit organization, and is not able to receive reports for investigation.
Families seeking help for a loved one may decide that the best course of action to help a victim of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation is to make a formal report.
To Report Suspected Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults
Minnesota has established a central system for reporting the suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults. This state-wide common entry point is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The toll-free phone number to call in order to make a report is 844-880-1574.
Make a report as soon as possible:
Minnesota encourages good faith reporting of suspected maltreatment of vulnerable adults by any person. The identity of reporters is confidential and cannot be released without a court order.
Reports made to the CEP are evaluated for need for immediate protective services. Reports which allege a crime are referred to law enforcement. All reports of suspected maltreatment are referred to the lead investigative agency responsible for responding to the report. Lead investigative agencies are: Counties, Minnesota Department of Health, and Minnesota Department of Human Services.
You can also report the abuse to your local law enforcement agency.
Reports on Quality of Facility Care
Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC)
When you have complaints about the quality of care but are not making a complaint of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, contact the OHFC.
The Department of Health regulates hospitals, nursing home and home care through inspections and through investigations by its Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC).
Complaints, questions, or concerns must relate to licensed facilities:
- Nursing homes
- Boarding care homes
- Supervised living facilities
- Assisted living
- Home health agencies
When submitting an electronic complaint, provide enough information to describe the situation and include your contact information. Complaints can be anonymous, but it helps OHFC to know who you are and where you can be reached if more information is needed, and to let you know the results of the investigation. OHFC protects your identity under the MN Data Practices Act.
Download a copy of the complaint form (PDF)
Criminal Issues – Law Enforcement and County Attorney/Prosecutor:
Some cases may involve crimes. These would be investigated by local law enforcement. The county attorney has the option of bringing charges. The best way to follow a possible criminal case is to contact your local law enforcement or county attorney’s office.
Civil Attorneys- Probate, Elder Law, General Practice:
Most cases do not end up being charged by the prosecutor or may not even be investigated by law enforcement. There may still be legal issues and options available. A civil attorney – one who specializes in elder law or estate planning or even general practice may be able to provide guidance and representation.
How to Find Help
Visit Find a Lawyer
Call your local Bar association to see if they have a bar referral network.
Free or Low Cost Legal Services
Legal Aid offices provide free civil legal services. While each office may offer different services based on the legal issue and your geographic location, these offices may be contacted for help in situations where there are legal issues (such as denial of Medicaid benefits) caused by financial exploitation. Legal Aid may also be able to provide a referral to another service or pro-bono attorney in some instances. Visit MN Legal Advice to ask online advice and find a local legal aid office.
LawHelpMN.org, is a free website for low-income people who need help with civil law problems. This site includes self-help forms and contact information for legal assistance by zip code.
The Volunteers of America also provides low cost estate and elder law services.