Growing List of States Allowing Video Surveillance in Nursing Home Residents’ Rooms

The state of Illinois will likely introduce legislation in 2015 allowing nursing home residents and families to place cameras in residents’ rooms in order to protect them from abuse and neglect.

If the legislation passes, Illinois will become the fifth state, following New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington, who have passed similar laws and regulations allowing camera surveillance in nursing homes.

This recent trend is part of a growing public outcry regarding the shocking number of reportednursing home abuse and neglect cases in the United States each year. While most experts and activists agree that greater oversight and reform is necessary to stop this abuse in the long-term, many families feel that installing video surveillance in their loved one’s room is an immediate solution to help protect them from abuse or neglect.

There are many controversial aspects of this practice. One of the main concerns is that video surveillance violates the resident’s privacy. If the resident is able to knowingly and voluntarily elect to have a camera installed, then they have the autonomy to do so. The issue becomes more complex when the resident is unable, perhaps because of a physical or mental disability, to make that conscious choice. In these cases, the decision would be made by the resident’s guardian, and families would have to decide whether or not to infringe on their loved one’s privacy, even if it is for their own good. This privacy issue is not limited to the residents themselves, but also includes the staff, physicians, visitors, or other residents who may share a room with the resident.

Nevertheless, the number of reported abuse and neglect cases in the United States is staggering, and families are concerned for their loved ones’ safety. It is physically impossible for someone to be with the resident at all times, so cameras allow families the ability to keep an eye on what is going on, even when they aren’t present. Video surveillance may also be used as evidence in the event that abuse or neglect does occur.

While this continues to be a highly controversial issue with many issues to be worked out, cameras might be a good short-term option for families who are concerned about the care their loved one is receiving in a nursing home.

Take Action: Call the Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys of Pope & Howard, P.C.

Many states have enacted or are in the process of enacting legislation allowing some type of video surveillance in residents’ rooms in nursing homes, and the expert attorneys at Pope & Howard, P.C. are following this issue very closely.

If you suspect that your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home, please contact our Atlanta-based law firm at (866) 910-0642 or (404) 885-9999. With decades of combined litigation experience, partners Geoff Pope and Marc Howard help families whose loved ones have suffered from nursing home abuse find justice.

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