Franken introduces bill to beef up protections for seniors

Sen. Al Franken introduced a bill Friday that would offer seniors who receive long-term care at home the same protections from abuse as those afforded to seniors living in nursing homes.

The bill, which Franken expects to roll into the Older Americans Act later this year, would require states to pass a Home Care Bill of Rights that protects consumer rights, safety and access to information.

“It became very clear to me after meeting with seniors from Moorhead to Winona that remaining independent and at home is a top priority for our seniors,” Franken said in a press statement. “But in order to keep our seniors in their homes we have to make sure they’re safe. This legislation would ensure that seniors who choose to receive long-term services and supports in their homes and communities have the same rights and protections from elder abuse that seniors living in nursing homes already have.”

The bill would also create a voluntary ombudsman to deal with complaints about the system, as well as the development of a set of standards that the public could use to assess the quality of long-term care services.