TITLE XII
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE

Chapter 161-F
ELDERLY AND ADULT SERVICES

General Provisions

Section 161-F:1

    161-F:1 Definitions. –
Unless the context indicates otherwise, in this chapter:
I. "Adult" means any person 18 years of age or older.
II. "Commissioner" means commissioner of health and human services.
III. [Repealed.]
IV. "Department" means the department of health and human services.
V. "Elderly" means a person 60 years of age or older.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:112, 170, VII, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:2

    161-F:2 Department of Health and Human Services. – The department of health and human services established under RSA 126-A:4 shall be responsible for the administration of this chapter.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:12, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:3

    161-F:3 Repealed by 1995, 310:16, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. –

Section 161-F:4

    161-F:4 Rulemaking. – The commissioner of health and human services may adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to social services for the elderly and adult populations under this chapter.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:113, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Older Americans Act

Section 161-F:5

    161-F:5 Federal Funds. – The department shall be the single state agency responsible to administer in New Hampshire the Older Americans Act of 1965 and subsequent legislation pursuant to that act and to receive all federal funds under Title III of said act. The department is also authorized to receive federal funds other than from the Administration on Aging to administer that act. The state treasurer shall receive and place in an account all federal funds paid to the state under that act, subject to requisition or disbursement by the department as a single state agency. The department is authorized to receive and expend federal funds made available to it.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:6

    161-F:6 Administration of State Plan. – The department shall be the sole and final agency designated as the single state agency for administering or supervising the administration of the New Hampshire state plan for implementing the Older Americans Act of 1965, including final decisions as to disposition of Title III project grant funds. The department shall have authority to submit or revise the New Hampshire state plan and shall be the sole state agency responsible for administering the program described in the state plan and shall collect and publish supporting statistics by county on the functional needs of and the services available to the New Hampshire elderly.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

State Committee on Aging

Section 161-F:7 to 161-F:9

    161-F:7 to 161-F:9 Repealed by 2019, 152:4, eff. July 1, 2019. –

Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Section 161-F:10

    161-F:10 Office Established. – There is hereby established the office of the long-term care ombudsman to be administratively attached to the department of health and human services under RSA 21-G:10 or administered through contract with an independent non-profit agency under the oversight of the department of health and human services. The office shall be responsible for receiving, identifying, investigating, and resolving complaints or problems made by, or on behalf of, elderly residents of facilities that relate to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents. The office shall investigate the administrative acts and omissions of any facility or government agency, as defined in RSA 161-F:11, V and VI and shall represent the interests of residents in the development and implementation of public policy, rules, and laws affecting residents of long-term care facilities.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:11

    161-F:11 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Act" means any action of any individual, facility, or government agency including any failure or refusal to act by such individual, facility, or government agency.
II. "Administrator" means any person who is charged with the general administration or supervision of a facility whether or not such person has an ownership interest and whether or not such person's functions and duties are shared with one or more other persons.
III. "Complaint" means a problem, concern, issue, or situation identified or received by the office that is made by, or on behalf of, residents that may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare and rights of residents, including the appointment and activities of legal representatives, providers of long-term care services, public agencies, and health and social services agencies.
IV. "Elderly" means any person 60 years of age or older.
V. "Facility" means any residential facility or institution, whether public or private, offering health or health related services, personal care assistance or protective oversight for the elderly, and which is subject to regulation, visitation, inspection, or supervision by any government agency. Facilities include, but are not limited to, nursing homes, skilled nursing homes, extended care facilities, convalescent homes, homes for the aged, veterans' homes, assisted living facilities, and any other residential care facility providing care for the elderly licensed or certified under RSA 151.
VI. "Government agency" means any department, division, office, bureau, board, commission, authority, or any other agency or instrumentality created by any county or municipality or by the state, or to which the state is a party, which is responsible for the regulation, inspection, visitation, or supervision of facilities or which provides services to residents of facilities.
VII. "Legal representative" means any individual, duly appointed or designated in the manner required by law to act on behalf of another individual, including:
(a) An attorney.
(b) A guardian or conservator.
(c) An agent acting pursuant to a power of attorney.
VIII. "Long-term care ombudsman" means the person who is the administrator and chief executive officer of the office.
IX. "Long-term care ombudsman representative" means any employee or volunteer who is designated by the long-term care ombudsman to represent, or act on behalf of, the office.
X. "Non-elderly" means any person under 60 years of age.
XI. "Office" means the office of the long-term care ombudsman, established by RSA 161-F:10.
XII. "Resident" means any person 60 years of age or older who resides in a facility as defined in RSA 161-F:11, V.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:12

    161-F:12 Long-Term Care Ombudsman. – The commissioner, in consultation with the attorney general, shall designate a person as the administrator and chief executive officer of the office who shall be called the long-term care ombudsman and who shall be a person with expertise and experience in the field of long-term care advocacy. The long-term care ombudsman shall designate such other qualified persons needed to perform the functions of this office. The long-term care ombudsman shall devote his or her entire time to the duties of the position. The long-term care ombudsman shall receive such salary as shall be provided in a classified position as determined by the division of personnel, unless administered on a contract basis.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:13

    161-F:13 Powers and Duties. –
I. The long-term care ombudsman shall:
(a) Investigate any act, omission, practice, policy or procedure of any individual, facility, or government agency that may adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, or civil or human rights of:
(1) Any elderly resident of a facility; or
(2) Any non-elderly resident of a facility where such investigation shall:
(A) Benefit elderly residents of that facility or facilities generally; and
(B) Not significantly diminish the long-term care ombudsman's ability to investigate complaints regarding elderly residents of facilities.
(b) Represent the interests of residents before governmental agencies and seek administrative, legal, and other remedies to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.
(c) Establish an advisory committee, which shall include residents and their legal representatives, older persons, providers of services, representatives of government agencies and representatives of community organizations serving older people, which shall meet quarterly in order to provide consultation to the long-term care ombudsman in planning and operating this subdivision.
(d) Provide information as appropriate to facilities, other agencies, and the public regarding the problems and concerns of residents of facilities.
(e) Inform residents, family members, and others acting on behalf of residents how to access the assistance and services of the office and the services and assistance of other providers or agencies, including legal services.
(f) Ensure regular and timely access to and response from the office.
(g) Comment on, facilitate public comment on, and recommend changes to existing or proposed laws, rules, regulations and other governmental policies and actions that affect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.
(h) Provide technical support for the development of resident and family councils to protect the well-being and rights of residents.
(i) Provide for education and training of the long-term care ombudsman office staff and volunteers.
(j) Educate facilities, agencies, and staff members concerning the rights and welfare of residents.
(k) Promote and support development of citizen organizations to participate in the ombudsman program.
II. The files maintained by the office shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed unless such disclosure is authorized by law or required by court order. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of information gathered in any investigation to any interested party as may be necessary to resolve the complaint.
III. The long-term care ombudsman shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to ensure the efficient conduct of the business, duties, and general administration of the office and to assure compliance with the requirements of the Older Americans Act, as set forth in 42 U.S.C. 3058f-3058g.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:14

    161-F:14 Access to Facilities, Residents, and Records. –
I. In the course of an investigation, the representative of the office shall:
(a) Make the necessary inquiries and obtain such information as he or she deems necessary.
(b) Enter and inspect the premises of a facility or government agency and inspect there any books, files, medical records, or other records that pertain to residents, subject to RSA 161-F:14, II.
(c) Conduct private interviews with residents, staff members, and others deemed appropriate to the investigation and who consent to such interviews.
II. The representative of the office shall first seek to obtain the written permission of the resident or the resident's legal representative to inspect any books, files, medical records, or other records which pertain to the resident. If the representative of the office cannot obtain such permission because a resident is unable to provide such permission and has no legal representative or the investigation pertains to the acts or omissions of the legal representative, the long-term care ombudsman representative shall, upon written determination of the long-term care ombudsman that such circumstances exist, inspect any books, files, medical records, or other records which pertain to that resident. The written determination shall be provided to the person in charge of the facility. The representative of the office shall maintain the confidentiality of all books, files, medical records, or other records inspected under the provisions of this paragraph except as they may pertain to the resolution of the ongoing investigation.
III. In an investigation, the representatives of the office shall have the authority to apply to the superior court for an order authorizing entry when an administrator of a facility refuses such representative entry as provided in subparagraph I(b) or paragraph II.
IV. Authorized representatives of the office with proper identification shall have access to residents of a facility to:
(a) Visit, talk with, and make personal, social, and other appropriate services available.
(b) Inform them of their rights and entitlements and corresponding obligations under federal and state law by distribution of educational materials, discussion in groups, or discussion with individual residents.
(c) Engage in other methods of assisting, advising, and representing residents or clients to extend to them the full enjoyment of their rights.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:15

    161-F:15 Retaliation Prohibited; Penalty. –
I. No discriminatory, disciplinary, or retaliatory action shall be taken against any officer or employee of a facility or government agency by such facility or government agency; nor against any resident of a facility; nor against any legal representative or family member of any resident; nor against any volunteer for any communication by such volunteer with the office or for any information given or disclosed by him or her in good faith to aid the office in carrying out its duties and responsibilities.
II. No person shall interfere with the long-term care ombudsman or with representatives of the office in the performance of their official duties.
III. Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:16

    161-F:16 Cooperation Required. – The office may request from any government agency, and such agency is hereby authorized and directed to provide, such cooperation and assistance, services, and data as will enable the office to properly perform or exercise any of its functions, duties, and powers under RSA 161-F:10 through 161-F:18.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:17

    161-F:17 Review; Reports Required. –
I. The long-term care ombudsman shall establish and maintain a statewide reporting system to collect and analyze data relating to complaints and conditions in facilities for the purpose of identifying and resolving individual and systemic complaints, problems and issues and for the purpose of developing reports as required pursuant to this section.
II. The office shall file a report of the activities of the ombudsman program and the ombudsman activities concerning complaints and conditions in facilities and the protection of the rights of residents of the facilities with the commissioner of health and human services, the governor, the general court, and the public within 120 days following the end of each federal fiscal year.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:18

    161-F:18 Immunity From Liability. – Any person, institution, or official who in good faith participates in the reporting of a complaint, or who in good faith investigates that complaint, participates in an investigation, or provides access or information to those persons carrying out the investigation or who participates in a judicial proceeding resulting from that complaint, shall be immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise result by reason of these actions. For the purpose of any civil or criminal proceedings, there will be a rebuttable presumption that any person acting pursuant to this subdivision did so in good faith.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Section 161-F:19

    161-F:19 Litigation Prohibited. – The long-term care ombudsman and all representatives of the office are prohibited from serving as legal representatives of any person before state or federal courts in any action that is related in any manner to the ongoing duties or responsibilities of the office.

Source. 2004, 110:2, eff. July 16, 2004.

Golden Granite State Discount Card

Section 161-F:20 to 161-F:29

    161-F:20 to 161-F:29 Repealed by 1995, 190:19, eff. July 1, 1995. –

Companion Animals

Section 161-F:30

    161-F:30 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Animals" means common domesticated household animals limited to: dogs, cats, caged birds, and aquarium fish.
II. "Housing for the elderly" means public housing facilities financed by either the state or federal government to provide living accommodations for persons 60 years of age or older but shall not include nursing homes or high-rise apartment buildings.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:31

    161-F:31 Authority. – Any housing for the elderly shall permit the tenants of each housing project upon petition of 10 percent of all the tenants to determine by a simple majority vote of those voting whether or not to allow the tenants in their building to have companion animals, provided that a 6-month period elapses between votes and that a subsequent vote shall not affect animals already on the premises which were permitted by a previous vote. If the vote permits tenants to maintain companion animals on the premises, the tenants shall adopt, with input from building management, rules relative to reasonable limitations and restrictions to be imposed for maintaining a companion animal that is not covered by RSA 161-F:33. Any complaints regarding a tenant's companion animal shall be handled in the same manner as any other tenant complaint and pursuant to the provisions of RSA 466:31.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:32

    161-F:32 Damage Deposit. – If companion animals are permitted, tenants desiring to have them as pets shall post, with the management of the building, a damage deposit which shall be a sum of money not to exceed 11/2 times the amount of a month's rent paid by the tenant.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:33

    161-F:33 Owner's Responsibility. –
The tenant owner of a companion animal shall have the following responsibilities:
I. (a) To provide the management with a signed agreement with some person, or other legal entity, other than another tenant, that such person or legal entity shall act as a temporary or permanent caretaker for the companion animal if the owner cannot care for it, whether temporarily or permanently.
(b) The signed agreement shall also permit management to implement the agreement referred to in subparagraph (a), if the animal is not cared for properly or is abused in any manner.
II. To provide the management with a veterinarian certificate stating that the animal is in good health and, if the animal is a cat or a dog, that it has been neutered or spayed, as applicable.
III. To be totally responsible for the care and cleanliness of the companion animal whether within the owner's building, on the building grounds, or on adjacent property.
IV. To be limited to no more than one companion animal per apartment, with the exception of birds and aquarium fish.
V. To abide by any local ordinances that may affect the custody of certain companion animals.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Congregate Services

Section 161-F:34

    161-F:34 Title. – This subdivision shall be known and may be cited as the "Congregate Services Act."

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:35

    161-F:35 Purpose. – The purpose of this subdivision is to provide support for congregate services in order to serve those who might otherwise be placed unnecessarily in institutional care.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:36

    161-F:36 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Congregate housing" means low-rent, publicly-owned housing with which there is connected a central dining facility where wholesome and economical meals can be served.
II. "Congregate services programs" means the programs undertaken by qualified service providers to provide assistance, as needed, to residents in order to maintain their independence. Such programs shall include the following services:
(a) Two nutritionally balanced meals, 7 days per week, served in a central dining facility.
(b) Regular assistance with housekeeping.
(c) Personal assistance.
(d) Transportation to scheduled doctors' appointments.
(e) Administrative support services, supplied by a qualified service provider.
III. "Personal assistance" means services provided which include, but are not limited to, aid in grooming, dressing, and other activities which maintain personal care and hygiene.
IV. "Qualified service provider" means a publicly owned housing system that possesses the skills and experience necessary to supervise and monitor resident services and to perform appropriate financial management practices in a congregate services program.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:37


[Congregate services provided under RSA 161-F:37 suspended for biennium ending June 30, 2023 by 2021, 91:23, effective July 1, 2021.]
    161-F:37 Administration; Services. –
I. The congregate services program shall be administered through the department. The congregate services shall be provided through a qualified service provider under contract with the department. The experience acquired through each congregate services program shall be shared with other congregate services programs established anywhere in the state.
II. Congregate services shall be provided on a full-time basis. Eligible recipients shall contribute financially toward the services. Eligibility and cost for these services shall be determined by rules adopted by the commissioner under RSA 161-F:38.
III. Administrative costs of the department shall not exceed 8 percent of the total state appropriation for congregate services programs.
IV. The department or qualified service provider shall be eligible to receive private or public grants. Private or public grants shall be in addition to funding appropriated by the state.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:38

    161-F:38 Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to:
I. Eligibility for congregate services, based on financial, psychological, and physical ability. For this purpose, the department shall use, as appropriate, the federal guidelines for congregate housing services programs.
II. Costs to residents for services. These fees shall be reasonable, may not exceed the cost of providing the service, and shall be calculated on a sliding scale related to income, which permits the provision of services to such residents who cannot afford meal and service fees.
III. Eligibility for national affordable housing act funding and services. Such eligibility shall be based on federal and state guidelines.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1992, 248:1. 1995, 310:175, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:39

    161-F:39 Review. – On or before December 1 of each year, the commissioner shall submit a report on the program with recommendations for improvement to the legislature. The qualified services provider shall keep accurate and detailed records of activities involved in the development and implementing of the congregate services programs.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Senior Volunteer Grant Program

Section 161-F:40


[Reimbursements to the foster grandparent program under RSA 161-F:40 are suspended for the biennium ending June 30, 2023 by 2021, 91:24, effective July 1, 2021.]
    161-F:40 Establishment of Program. –
I. There is hereby established a senior volunteer grant program in the department. The program shall, within the limits of funds appropriated, reimburse the senior companion and foster grandparents programs for the volunteers' stipends, benefits, travel, and administrative expenses incurred in providing volunteer services.
II. The funds so appropriated shall be disbursed by the department in quarterly payments. The funds shall be allocated to senior companion and foster grandparents programs.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:41

    161-F:41 Rulemaking. – The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to procedures for reimbursement under this subdivision.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Protective Services to Adults

Section 161-F:42

    161-F:42 Purpose. – The purpose of this subdivision is to provide protection for vulnerable adults who are abused, neglected, or exploited. Implicit in this subdivision is the philosophy that whenever possible an adult's right to self-determination should be preserved, and that each adult should live in safe conditions and should live his own life without interruption from state government. Only when these principles become impossible to follow should legal proceedings be initiated in order to care for and protect such adults.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990. 2016, 59:11, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 161-F:43

    161-F:43 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Protective services" means services and action which will, through voluntary agreement or through appropriate court action, prevent neglect, abuse or exploitation of vulnerable adults. Such services shall include, but not be limited to, supervision, guidance, counseling and, when necessary, assistance in the securing of nonhazardous living accommodations, and mental and physical examinations.
II. "Abuse" means any one of the following:
(a) "Emotional abuse" means the misuse of power, authority, or both, verbal harassment, or unreasonable confinement which results or could result in the mental anguish or emotional distress of a vulnerable adult.
(b) "Physical abuse" means the use of physical force which results or could result in physical injury to a vulnerable adult.
(c) "Sexual abuse" means contact or interaction of a sexual nature involving a vulnerable adult without his or her informed consent.
III. "Neglect" means an act or omission which results or could result in the deprivation of essential services or supports necessary to maintain the minimum mental, emotional or physical health and safety of a vulnerable adult.
IV. "Exploitation" means the illegal use of a vulnerable adult's person or property for another person's profit or advantage, or the breach of a fiduciary relationship through the use of a person or a person's property for any purpose not in the proper and lawful execution of a trust, including, but not limited to, situations where a person obtains money, property, or services from a vulnerable adult through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud.
V. "Serious bodily injury" means any harm to the body which causes or could cause severe, permanent or protracted loss of or impairment to the health or of the function of any part of the body.
VI. "Self-neglect" means an act or omission by a vulnerable adult which results or could result in the deprivation of essential services or supports necessary to maintain his or her minimum mental, emotional or physical health and safety.
VII. "Vulnerable" means that the physical, mental, or emotional ability of a person is such that he or she is unable to manage personal, home, or financial affairs in his or her own best interest, or he or she is unable to act or unable to delegate responsibility to a responsible caretaker or caregiver.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 2002, 36:2, eff. July 1, 2002. 2016, 59:1, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 161-F:44

    161-F:44 Self-Neglect. – For the purposes of this subdivision, instances of suspected self-neglect shall be construed and acted upon in the same manner as instances of suspected neglect.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:45

    161-F:45 Exception. – Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to mean a person is abused, neglected, exploited, or in need of protective services for the sole reason that he relies on or is being furnished treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination of which he is a member or adherent.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:46

    161-F:46 Reports of Adult Abuse; Investigations. –
Any person, including, but not limited to, physicians, other health care professionals, social workers, clergy, and law enforcement officials, suspecting or believing in good faith that any adult who is or who is suspected to be vulnerable, at the time of the incident, has been subjected to abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation or is, or was living in hazardous conditions shall report or cause a report to be made as follows:
I. An oral report, by telephone or otherwise, shall be made immediately, followed by a written report, if so requested, to the commissioner or his authorized representative. When oral reports are made after working hours of the department, or on weekends or holidays, such reports shall be made to the police department of the appropriate political subdivision, or to the sheriff of the county, in which the alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation occurred. Law enforcement officials receiving reports under this paragraph shall notify the commissioner within 72 hours of receipt of such reports.
II. Within 72 hours following receipt by the commissioner or his authorized representative of such oral reports, an investigation shall be initiated by the commissioner or his authorized representative.
III. Investigations shall not be made if the commissioner or his authorized representative determines that the report is frivolous or without a factual basis.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, 183. 2002, 36:3, eff. July 1, 2002. 2016, 59:2, eff. July 4, 2016. 2021, 122:42, eff. July 9, 2021.

Section 161-F:47

    161-F:47 Immunity From Liability. – Any person or agency, other than an alleged perpetrator, participating in good faith in the making of a report of an alleged incident of adult abuse, neglect or exploitation, providing information relative to such incident or following a reporting protocol developed jointly with the department, or who in good faith investigates the report, administers the registry, or who participates in a judicial or administrative proceeding resulting from that report, shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed. Any person or agency providing information in good faith, including materials requested by the department pursuant to RSA 161-F:56, shall have the same immunity with respect to participation in any investigation by the commissioner or his authorized representative or in any judicial proceeding resulting from such report.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183. 2002, 36:4. 2006, 289:1, eff. July 1, 2007.

Section 161-F:48

    161-F:48 Abrogation of Privileged Communication. – The privileged quality of communication between husband and wife and any professional person and his patient or client, except that between attorney and client, shall not apply to any proceedings instituted pursuant to this subdivision and shall not constitute grounds for failure to report as required by this subdivision.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:49

    161-F:49 Registry. –
I. There shall be established a state registry at the department for the purpose of maintaining a record of information on each founded report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation toward an individual by a paid or volunteer caregiver, guardian, or agent acting under the authority of a power of attorney or any durable power of attorney. The registry shall be confidential and subject to rules on access established by the commissioner of the department under RSA 541-A. Unfounded reports shall not be maintained on the registry. The department shall maintain statistical, non-identifying information on founded reports as the department determines is necessary to track and address trends. For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Individual" means an individual, 18 years of age or older, who is a vulnerable adult, as defined under RSA 161-F:43, VII.
(b) "Investigator" means a person designated or employed by the department, in accordance with a protocol developed by the department to ensure objectivity, thoroughness, timeliness, and uniformity in methodology and format in the conduct of investigations and investigation reports. An investigator may include an investigator employed by an area agency or a community mental health center, if designated by the department.
(c) "Perpetrator" means a person who, following a protective investigation completed in accordance with RSA 161-F:42 through RSA 161-F:57, is found to have abused, neglected, or exploited a vulnerable adult.
(d) "Volunteer" means a person who provides voluntary services through any agency, program, or facility.
II. Within 5 business days of completion of an investigation of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an individual by a paid or volunteer caregiver, guardian, or agent acting under the authority of a power of attorney or any durable power of attorney, the investigator shall provide a summary of the investigation to the commissioner, or designee. Except as provided in paragraph IV, for a founded report, the commissioner, or designee, shall, within 5 business days, notify the perpetrator:
(a) Of the founded report against him or her and that such information shall be entered on the registry and the consequences of such a finding.
(b) Of the right to contest the finding by appealing within 10 business days.
(c) Of the right to receive a full and fair administrative hearing, including the right to be represented by counsel at his or her own expense.
(d) Of the right to appeal an adverse administrative hearing decision to the probate court in accordance with paragraph V.
(e) That he or she may petition the probate court to expunge the report from the registry pursuant to RSA 161-F:49, X.
III. In response to a written request from an employer identified in paragraph VII, the commissioner, or designee, shall notify the employer:
(a) Relative to a prospective or current employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer who is not on the registry of that fact within 5 business days of receipt of a request from the employer.
(b) Relative to a prospective or current employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer who is on the registry of that fact within 5 business days of receipt of the request from the employer, and the department shall include in the notice the date the person was placed on the registry.
IV. A founded report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and other information the commissioner deems appropriate, shall be entered on the registry upon:
(a) Expiration of the 10-business-day period for appeal when the perpetrator does not request an appeal.
(b) An administrative hearing officer sustaining the finding, unless an appeal is filed in accordance with paragraph V and an order of stay is issued by the probate court.
V. If the finding is sustained after an administrative hearing, a perpetrator shall have the right to appeal as follows:
(a) A perpetrator may file a petition in the Merrimack county probate court to review the final order by the commissioner, or designee, within 30 days of the date of the final order. Jurisdiction to hear such appeals is vested in the Merrimack county probate court.
(b) At the earliest practical time, the court shall review the record as developed before the commissioner, or designee, together with any written legal argument presented to the court. Based on that review, the court may affirm or reverse the decision of the commissioner, or designee, or order that oral argument be held. As justice may require, the court may remand the case to the commissioner, or designee, for further findings or rulings. The petition for appeal shall set forth all the grounds upon which the final order is sought to be overturned. Issues not raised by the appellant before the commissioner, or designee, shall not be raised before the probate court. The burden of proof shall be upon the appellant to show that the decision of the commissioner, or designee, was clearly unreasonable or unlawful, and all findings of the commissioner, or designee, upon all questions of fact properly before him or her shall be deemed to be prima facie lawful and reasonable. The order or decision appealed from shall not be vacated except for errors of law, unless the court is satisfied, by a clear preponderance of the evidence, that the order is unjust or unreasonable.
(c) No new or additional evidence shall be introduced in the probate court. The case shall be determined upon the record and evidence transferred, except that in any case, if it shall be necessary in order that no party shall be deprived of any constitutional right, or if the court determines that justice requires the reception of evidence of facts which have occurred since the hearing, or which by reason of accident, mistake, or misfortune could not have been offered before the commissioner, or designee, it shall remand the case to the commissioner, or designee, to receive and consider such additional evidence.
VI. If it is determined by the commissioner, or designee, or after a hearing requested pursuant to subparagraph II(c) that a founded report was caused by factors beyond the control of the perpetrator, then the finding shall not be entered onto the registry as founded.
VII. All employers of programs which are licensed, certified, or funded by the department to provide services to individuals shall be required before hiring a prospective employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer who may have contact with individuals to submit his or her name, for review against the registry to determine whether the person is on the registry. The employer shall not hire the prospective employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer if he or she is listed on the registry unless the employer requests and obtains a waiver from the department to hire such person. The employer, upon receiving notice that a prospective employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer is on the registry and in order to determine whether to request a waiver from the department, may request permission from the prospective employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer for the authority to obtain further information about a founded report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. An employer may, with the consent of a current employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer, submit his or her name for review against the registry. All employers, upon learning that the name of a current employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer of their agency is on the registry shall take immediate action to ensure the safety of the individuals in their care. Such action may include, but is not limited to, termination, training, re-assignment, probationary employment, and/or the provision of direct supervision of the employee, consultant, contractor, or volunteer when working with individuals.
VIII. Any person hiring or employing a paid or volunteer caregiver, consultant, or contractor directly, or through an authorized representative or fiscal intermediary, to provide personal care services, as defined in RSA 161-E or RSA 161-I, may, with the consent of the current or prospective caregiver, consultant, contractor, or volunteer, submit his or her name for review against the registry and, if he or she is on the registry, and with the further permission of the current or prospective caregiver, consultant, contractor, or volunteer, obtain information about any founded report. Any person considering designating another to serve as his or her agent under a power of attorney or any type of durable power of attorney may, with the consent of the proposed agent, submit the proposed agent's name for review against the registry. The person shall not be required in such situations to obtain a waiver prior to hiring a person on the registry.
VIII-a. It shall be unlawful for any employer other than those specified under this section to require as a condition of employment that the employee submit his or her name for review against the registry of founded reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation and any violation of this provision shall be punishable as a violation.
IX. Founded reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall be retained on the registry for a period of 7 years subject to the perpetrator's right to petition for the earlier removal of the report from the registry as provided in this section.
X. Any perpetrator whose name is listed in the founded reports maintained on the state registry may petition the probate court to have a founded report expunged from the registry as follows:
(a) A petition to expunge shall be filed in the probate court where the petitioner resides or where the abuse, neglect, or exploitation occurred.
(b) A petition to expunge shall be filed on forms provided by the probate courts. The petition shall include certified copies of the petitioner's criminal record and may include any other information the petitioner deems relevant.
(c) When a petition to expunge is filed, the probate court shall require the department to report to the court concerning any additional founded abuse, neglect, or exploitation reports relative to the petitioner and shall require that the petitioner submit the petitioner's name, birth date, and address to the state police to obtain information about criminal convictions. The court may require the department to provide any additional information that the court believes may aid it in making a determination on the petition.
(d) Upon the receipt of the department's report, the court may act on the petition without further hearing or may schedule the matter for hearing at the request of either party. If the court determines that the petitioner does not pose a present threat to the safety of individuals and has exhibited best efforts to eliminate the likelihood of reoccurrence of the type of behavior that resulted in his or her entry onto the registry, the court shall grant the petition and order the department to remove the founded report from the registry. Otherwise, the petition shall be denied.
XI. The department shall, in the notice it sends out pursuant to RSA 161-F:49, II(a), notify the perpetrator of his or her right to petition to have his or her founded report expunged from the registry. No petition to expunge a founded report shall be brought within one year from the date that the report was initially entered on the registry. If the petition to expunge is denied, no further petition shall be brought more frequently than every 3 years thereafter.
XII. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
(a) Setting forth the process and criteria for requesting and granting a waiver pursuant to RSA 161-F:49, VII.
(b) Safeguarding the confidentiality of and access to the registry except for the functions necessary to comply with this section. Such safeguards shall include limitations on which persons in an employment situation may request and access the founded reports on the registry.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, 183. 2006, 289:2. 2009, 179:1, eff. July 13, 2009. 2016, 59:3, 4, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 161-F:50

    161-F:50 Penalty for Violation. – Any person who knowingly fails to make any report required by RSA 161-F:46 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:51

    161-F:51 Duties and Responsibilities. –
I. The commissioner or his or her authorized representative, upon the substantiation of a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult, shall provide, when necessary, protective services to such adults.
II. The commissioner or his or her authorized representative shall refer all cases of serious bodily injury to a vulnerable adult known or suspected to be the result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to local law enforcement, the department of justice or to the county attorney for possible criminal prosecution. The commissioner or his or her authorized representative shall also report other cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation to local law enforcement, the department of justice, or the office of the county attorney for possible criminal prosecution if there is reason to believe a crime has been committed.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, 183. 2002, 36:5, eff. July 1, 2002. 2016, 59:5, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 161-F:52

    161-F:52 Guardianship. – If all other remedies are exhausted, the commissioner or his authorized representative may seek to have a guardian or conservator appointed by the probate court, pursuant to RSA 464-A, for any adult who is in need of protective services.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:53

    161-F:53 Entry of Premises. – If either a vulnerable adult reported or suspected of being abused, neglected, or exploited refuses, or a caretaker or caregiver refuses, to allow the representative of the department entrance to the premises for the purpose of investigating a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the probate court, in the county where the adult is found, upon a finding of probable cause, may order an authorized representative of the commissioner, a police officer, or other authorized individual to enter said premises in furtherance of such investigation.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. 2016, 59:6, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 161-F:54

    161-F:54 Court Ordered Examination. – The probate court, at any time, may order a proposed ward to submit to a medical or psychiatric examination to be completed within 30 days by a licensed psychologist, licensed psychiatrist or physician, or local community mental health center. A written report of such examination shall be forwarded to the court and shall contain, but not be limited to, the proposed ward's disease or disability, if any, the proposed ward's present mental status, and the prognosis. If the proposed ward objects to the evaluation, the probate court having jurisdiction shall be notified in writing within 5 days after notification of the time and place of such evaluation, and the court shall hold a hearing to consider the objection prior to ordering such evaluation or, upon good cause shown, may excuse the proposed ward from the provisions of this section.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1998, 234:4, eff. Oct. 31, 1998.

Section 161-F:55

    161-F:55 Rulemaking. – The commissioner shall adopt such rules under RSA 541-A as are necessary to carry out the purpose of this subdivision, including, but not limited to, rules relative to access to records under RSA 161-F:49.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:56

    161-F:56 Access to Information. – In the course of an investigation conducted pursuant to this subdivision, the department's authorized representative may make any inquiries and obtain such information as is necessary to further such investigation. The department's authorized representative may review and photocopy any books, files, medical records, financial records, photographs or other records on any medium of an alleged victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. In the event any person or agency refuses to allow the department access to materials necessary to further its investigation, the probate court, upon a finding of probable cause, may order the person or agency to release its records to the department.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:114. 2002, 36:6, eff. July 1, 2002.

Section 161-F:57

    161-F:57 Access to Files; Confidentiality. – The files maintained by the department which relate to investigations of alleged instances of abuse, neglect, or exploitation shall be disclosed only with the written consent of the victim, or his guardian or attorney, or if such disclosure is required by court or administrative order. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the disclosure of information gathered pursuant to an investigation to a service provider as may be necessary to devise or implement a service plan, to a facility and the appropriate licensing authority or authorities for an incident occurring within a facility, as defined in RSA 151, to the extent necessary to protect the victim or other facility residents or to comply with state or federal law, to local law enforcement, the department of justice, or a county attorney, pursuant to RSA 161-F:51, II, or to any court in any proceeding where the welfare of the alleged victim or actions of a fiduciary acting on behalf of an alleged victim are at issue.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175. 2002, 36:7, eff. July 1, 2002.

Homemaker Services

Section 161-F:58

    161-F:58 Title. – This subdivision shall be known and may be cited as the "Homemaker Services Act."

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:59

    161-F:59 Purpose. – The purpose of this subdivision is to support homemaker programs to serve those who need such care and who otherwise might be placed in inappropriate institutional care and to provide training in the home to allow individuals and families to remain in their homes and to become as self-sufficient as their capabilities permit.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:60

    161-F:60 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Homemaker" means a carefully trained, supervised person who works as a member of a team composed of professional and allied workers providing health and social services.
II. "Provider agency" means:
(a) Homemaker service agency;
(b) Homemaker program of a family or child welfare service;
(c) An organization serving the aged;
(d) A visiting nurse association; or
(e) Any similar profit or nonprofit organization.
III. "Qualified" means that the provider of the service has been monitored and evaluated as meeting the basic standards set by the department.
IV. "Supervision" means the initial assessment and reassessment of individual or family needs to determine the appropriate kinds of service and the direction given to the homemaker by a nurse, social worker, or other member of the professional team responsible for determining and carrying out the plan of care.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:61

    161-F:61 Homemaker; Duties. –
I. The trained homemaker, working for a provider agency, shall carry out assigned tasks in the family's or individual's residence. The assignments shall be carried out under supervision of a professional, who shall assess the need for the service and implement the plan of care.
II. Duties of the homemaker shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) Respite family relief.
(b) Special diet planning and meal preparation.
(c) Limited assistance with personal care needs.
(d) Budgeting.
(e) Home management.
(f) Light housekeeping, laundry, shopping, and errands.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:62

    161-F:62 Administration; Services. –
I. The homemaker services shall be administered through the department and shall be coordinated with any existing homemaker services. The services shall be provided through the purchase of qualified service and, to the extent feasible, shall be coordinated through local agencies. To be certified by the department, any agency, whether public or private, nonprofit or profit, shall meet the basic standards for licensure under RSA 151.
II. Benefits provided to an individual or family may include full or part-time care and services. Normally, the services will be on a part-time basis. Persons who are eligible under rules adopted by the commissioner may receive the benefits of the services.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:63

    161-F:63 Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. Eligibility for services.
II. Cost and payment of services.
III. [Repealed.]

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183. 2012, 171:26, VII, eff. Aug. 10, 2012.

Section 161-F:64

    161-F:64 Repealed by 2021, 122:43, I, eff. July 9, 2021. –

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders

Section 161-F:65

    161-F:65 Statement of Purpose. – The general court finds that Alzheimer's disease and related disorders (ADRD) affect an alarmingly high percentage of citizens and that ADRD creates a great strain on the families of victims of the disease. In enacting this subdivision, it is the intent of the general court to address these concerns and to promote public awareness of ADRD.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:66

    161-F:66 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "ADRD", Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, means a condition which receives a differential diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or a similar irreversible dementia.
II. "Eligible person" means any adult who is unable to attend to his daily needs without the assistance or regular supervision of a primary caregiver due to ADRD.
III. "Primary caregiver" means the family member or other natural person who normally provides the home care and supervision of a victim of ADRD.
IV. "Respite care service" means care provided on an intermittent basis to the eligible person to relieve the primary caregiver from the demands of home care for a limited period of time.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:67

    161-F:67 Respite Care Service Established. – The commissioner shall establish and administer a statewide respite care service for the purpose of providing respite care for eligible persons by trained respite care providers. The service shall be purchased through contracts, and to the extent feasible shall be coordinated through local agencies.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:68

    161-F:68 Guidelines; Fees Established by Rules. – Respite care service may be on a planned or emergency basis either in the home of the eligible person, in an out-of-home respite care setting, or in a licensed nursing home. The commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to appropriate fees for respite care services.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1991, 128:1. 1995, 310:115, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:69

    161-F:69 Training. – The commissioner shall establish comprehensive training programs for persons providing services to eligible persons.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:70

    161-F:70 Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. Training programs as required under RSA 161-F:69.
II. Eligibility requirements for respite care service.
III. Appropriate fees for respite care services.
IV. Cost and method of payment for services.
V. What constitutes appropriate respite care service.
VI. What constitutes an appropriate respite care setting.
VII. The administration of this subdivision.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1991, 128:2, 3. 1995, 310:116, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Adult In-Home Care

Section 161-F:71

    161-F:71 Title. – This subdivision shall be known and may be cited as the "Adult In-Home Care Act."

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:72

    161-F:72 Purpose. – The purpose of this subdivision is to provide adult in-home care services to persons in need of such care, who otherwise might be inappropriately placed in an institutional care setting.

Source. 1989, 7:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1990.

Section 161-F:73

    161-F:73 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Adult in-home care" means caring by a person who is neither a professional nor a paraprofessional for an elderly or vulnerable adult's needs for food, activity, home care, and personal care for a portion of the 24-hour day in the adult's independent living situation. Such services are limited to those the department finds are appropriate and are determined by the provider agency to be within the expertise and abilities of the caregiver and may include, but not be limited to, assistance in the following: walking, dressing, bathing, eating, meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping, sewing, laundry and other errands.
II. "Adult in-home care provider" means any organization, business entity, or subdivision of such organization or entity, whether public or private, whether operated for profit or not, which is engaged in arranging or providing, directly or through contract arrangement, adult in-home care services. An adult in-home care provider may also be an individual, 18 years of age or older who, in the judgment of the department, is reliable and able to meet the needs of the individual being cared for.
III. "Supervision" means the initial assessment and reassessment by the provider of the person requiring the in-home care to determine the necessary and appropriate services. Supervision also includes the directions given by nurses, social workers, or other professionals to the person providing the actual care.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, eff. Nov. 1, 1995. 2016, 59:11, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 161-F:74

    161-F:74 Administration; Services. –
I. The department shall administer this subdivision and shall coordinate adult in-home care services with existing home care resources. The department shall provide the services on behalf of eligible adults from adult in-home care providers. To the extent possible, the purchase of services shall be coordinated through local agencies.
II. Services provided to an individual may be on a full- or part-time basis. The eligibility of persons shall be determined under rules adopted by the commissioner.

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:175, 183, eff. Nov. 1, 1995.

Section 161-F:75

    161-F:75 Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. Cost and the methods of payment for adult in-home care services.
II. Qualifications of providers.
III. Further definition of services to be provided under this subdivision.
IV. Requirements for eligibility for services.
V. [Repealed.]

Source. 1989, 7:1. 1995, 310:183. 2012, 171:26, VIII, eff. Aug. 10, 2012.

Caregiver Support Services

Section 161-F:76

    161-F:76 Purpose. – Over 80 percent of long-term care services are provided by unpaid family caregivers. It is in the state's best interest to support these caregivers to maintain their family member at home. The purpose of this chapter is to provide support to these caregivers in their role as primary caregivers for aging family members.

Source. 2010, 81:1, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 161-F:77

    161-F:77 Definitions. –
In this subdivision:
I. "Caregiver support services" includes, but is not limited to, assessment, individual and caregiver centered planning and assistance, information and referral, respite care, caregiver support groups, educational materials, and emergency and outreach services.
II. "ServiceLink Resource Center" or "SLRC" means the statewide network of locally administered community-based resources for seniors, adults with disabilities, and their families.

Source. 2010, 81:1, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 161-F:78

    161-F:78 Administration; Services. – Subject to available federal, state, and local funding, the department shall administer this subdivision and shall coordinate caregiver support services with existing services to caregivers and older adults. Caregiver support services shall be provided in a manner which develops person-centered, comprehensive, responsive, and flexible support to caregivers in their role as the primary caregivers for aging family members.

Source. 2010, 81:1, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 161-F:79

    161-F:79 Regional Caregiver Support Services. – The department shall maintain a caregiver support program in each SLRC. A caregiver support specialist shall be available within each SLRC region to assist caregivers in assessing their needs and accessing support and services; including generic community resources, state and federally funded support services, and other services as available.

Source. 2010, 81:1, eff. July 18, 2010.

Section 161-F:80

    161-F:80 Rulemaking. –
The commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to:
I. Further definition of services to be provided under this subdivision.
II. Requirements for eligibility for services.
III. Manner of providing services under RSA 161-F:78.
IV. Assignment and roles of caregiver support specialists pursuant to RSA 161-F:79.

Source. 2010, 81:1, eff. July 18, 2010.