Understanding the System

We understand that the system can be complicated. There are several distinctions that are important when determining abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of an older adult or vulnerable adult.

Some older adults are vulnerable, others are not. In general, in Minnesota someone is a vulnerable adult if they:

  • Are an inpatient at a facility
  • Receive services at or from a facility
  • Receive services from a home care provider, or person that acts as a personal care/medical assistant
  • Possess a physical, mental, or emotional infirmity/dysfunction

A Vulnerable Adult can be any age over 18, but age alone does not determine vulnerability. If a vulnerable adult is a victim of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and is receiving care from a licensed care provider, the Office of Ombudsman for Long-Term Care may be able to help. See Getting Advice for more information.

Consumer Rights
In addition, Minnesota laws provide guidance to licensed caregivers and protection to consumers through “Bills of Rights” for licensed and non-licensed care. In some settings, there are also rights that come from federal law. Find all the Bills of Rights here, available in several languages.