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Are cameras in the nursing home the way to prevent elder abuse?

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Are you worried about the care a loved one is receiving in a Skilled Nursing Facility or other institutional care facilities? Some families are resorting to video cameras to keep track of what happens in their loved one’s rooms when they’re not there to protect them.  Illinois has begun drafting legislation that would allow families to place cameras in resident’s rooms and may take effect as early as 2016.

If you think of the times that you’ve called a business and a recording has told you that the conversation will be recorded for training purposes or if you’ve watched enough crime shows to have seen a detective tell a suspect that he or she is recording the proceedings, you can see that there’s more to the decision than plugging in a camera. The article points out that Washington state is one of five state’s that already allows consensual recording but what it doesn’t say is that as Attorney Greg Hirakawa in our office said, “there are all kinds of issues.” Cameras are not likely to be the answer because it’s not as simple as placing a camera in a room and beginning to record so don’t do it without getting some legal advice.  Still, family members might want to consider their options for providing as much protection as possible for their loved ones.

One, non-electronic tool that can provide oversight is to hire a geriatric care manager.  Within a few minutes, they can see whether your loved one is getting the kind of care they need.  They’ll be quicker to spot care issues and understand what laws and regulations exist to ensure your loved one is receiving the best care possible. They don’t require hours of perusing old tapes to discover if something is amiss and more importantly perhaps, they don’t run the risk of having their testimony be inadmissible in a court of law if God forbid something does happen.

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