LAS VEGAS, Nevada. As reports of personal injury among nursing home residents grow nationwide, families and lawmakers have struggled to find ways to protect the elderly while also preserving their rights. Some states, in a measure to increase accountability in nursing homes, have implemented regulations that require monitoring in homes and other care facilities. Some states are looking to expand these monitoring laws to assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities. However, while these laws can hold nursing homes to higher standards of accountability, monitoring can also affect residents’ privacy.
According to the Star Tribune, individuals are working with lawmakers to ensure that the rights of the elderly are protected, while also working to hold nursing homes accountable. In Minnesota, the cameras were effective in alerting family and officials about cases of abuse in nursing homes. While it is clear that the cameras can have benefits for the most vulnerable residents, privacy advocates argue that these cameras should only be permitted when residents and their families have been informed and consent to their presence. Additionally, residents should also have the right to say when and where they can be filmed. Some argue that the presence of monitoring in nursing homes creates too much of a “Big Brother” mentality contributing to the further institutionalization of the elderly.
In fact, some researchers have found that nursing homes that mimic a regular home, with its freedoms and flexibility, offer greater mental and even physical benefits to residents. So, while cameras can keep people safer, in the long run they may not make people happier or healthier—an important consideration if loved ones can speak up for themselves or are not so ill that they depend on the nursing facility for all life activities.
According to the Atlantic, monitoring in senior facilities is becoming more common. In some cases, this monitoring can help seniors receive better care. For instance, some monitors detect vital signs and can alert nursing staff if a resident needs assistance. But not all nursing homes are happy about additional monitoring.
In some cases, families have taken matters into their own hands. Proving nursing home abuse can be difficult. Some of the signs of abuse can mirror the symptoms of illness. It can be hard to know if a loved one is receiving the care he or she deserves. Some families have chosen to install cameras in their loved one’s room without informing the nursing home. These wireless cameras can transmit video to a phone or other device. Families that have done this have sometimes received the evidence they needed in order to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, families have been able to submit the video to law enforcement so that appropriate action could be taken.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, it is important to take action as soon as possible. The Chappell Law Group in Fort Myers works closely with families to help them seek justice if a loved one has been hurt in a nursing home.
The laws regarding camera use in nursing homes vary from state to state, so before you install a “granny cam” you may want to speak to a qualified personal injury lawyer, like the attorneys at the Chappell Law Group. Visit our website at www.attorneychappell.com.