Cameras are allowed in nursing home rooms in some states, though whether this right is guaranteed by state statute or by nursing home policy depends on the location of the facility and whether there are multiple residents in the room being recorded. Some restrictions may also apply.
Using Cameras to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse
According to a 2018 World Health Organization report, one in six people over the age of 60 experienced some type of abuse in the community in which they live. Even more disturbing, perhaps, two in three staff members in nursing homes and long-term care facilities admitted to having committed abuse. As a result, many family members of loved ones in nursing homes are aiming to put a camera in a nursing home room to ensure there is adequate surveillance.
States are starting to act against elder abuse by implementing regulations that permit the installation of cameras in nursing home residents’ rooms, but there are still only a handful of states that provide specific legislation on this topic. In many cases, whether cameras are permitted is left up to the nursing home’s administration.
Allowing cameras in a nursing home room adds another layer of protection against the abuse of vulnerable residents, and may reduce the types of abuse to which residents are subject. These include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Residents falling and not receiving necessary medical attention
Cameras in resident rooms can help discourage abusive and neglectful behavior, especially when the cameras are in full view of staff and visitors, and you give proper notice to those being recorded.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-201-3999
State Laws and Guidelines on Cameras in Nursing Home Rooms
Several states address the use of cameras in nursing homes, including Oklahoma, New Mexico, Illinois, Washington, and Texas. If all residents in the room agree to the use of cameras, these states allow families to place audio and visual recording devices in rooms.
Several specific requirements must be taken into consideration if you want to put a camera in a nursing home room, such as:
- Camera’s placement in the room
- The steps you must take to notify staff and other visitors to the nursing home of the existence of the camera
- Financial responsibility for any installation and maintenance costs
- Penalties for tampering with nursing home cameras
- Proper authorized location for camera placement
- Access to the recordings
These are just a few of the significant issues that laws address, and they may vary from state to state. A lawyer can explain the laws in your state and whether you are legally entitled to place cameras in your loved one’s room.
Benefits of Placing Cameras in Nursing Home Rooms
There are several benefits to placing cameras inside the rooms of nursing home residents. They include:
Encourage Staff Members to Perform at Their Best
Not only can a camera in the room discourage abusive and neglectful behavior, but it may also encourage staff to provide residents with a higher quality of loving care, knowing that someone is watching their every move.
In regards to staff members who are committed to providing high-quality patient care—with or without the presence of cameras—a video camera benefits them by reducing the likelihood of any unfounded accusations.
Allow Families to Observe Care From Afar
In addition to ensuring that their loved ones are not abused or neglected, a camera allows family members to stay more connected to their loved ones. It also allows families to continuously monitor their loved one’s overall health, wellbeing, and the quality of care they receive, without relying on status updates from the nursing home facility.
Provide Valuable Footage if a Lawsuit is Necessary
If someone abuses your loved one and a lawsuit is necessary, a video camera provides valuable evidence to prove liability. To ensure the camera footage is admissible in court, it is imperative that you follow your state’s law, placing notification signs in the room and obtaining the proper consent from the resident’s roommate, if necessary.
If you discovered that someone abused your loved one—whether you caught that abuse on camera or not—you have the right to hold the at-fault party responsible for their behavior.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free, no-risk review of your claim. Our law firm works on a contingency-fee basis, which means that we take no money up front or out of pocket. We get paid for our work from the settlement or judgment you receive, which means you have nothing to lose. Call (800) 201-3999. A member of our team is standing by and ready to help.