Video Cameras in Nursing Home Rooms: Reassuring or Intrusive?

We live in a society where surveillance cameras are becoming more and more common in our lives. In schools, public transportation, convenience stores, shopping centers, and government buildings, security cameras track our every move. These cameras are there for protection to record evidence any harm that we suffer while in their view. Although some feel the level of surveillance that we currently face is too high, many others feel that the potential loss of privacy is worth the security that the cameras provide.

One issue that has become a topic of discussion and legislation is the placement of video cameras in nursing home rooms. This issue came after an Illinois law was passed to allow cameras to be placed by families of nursing home residents to monitor the activity in the residents’ rooms. This law was passed in an attempt to provide more protection for nursing home residents and provide those who suffer injury or abuse with the ability to prove their claims.

Pros and Cons of Video Cameras in Nursing Homes

In addition to Illinois, four other states allow video cameras to be installed in nursing home rooms. This is done in the name of protecting nursing home residents. Other positive aspects of this include:

  • Family members being able to monitor their loved one’s activity levels;
  • Determining whether the resident is receiving adequate care; and
  • Anticipating needs before they arise.

An Aging Care article discussed the pros and cons of video cameras in nursing home rooms. They can include:

  • Nursing home staff relying on the cameras to monitor residents, rather than taking the time to visit each individual;
  • A resident feeling as if he or she cannot relax because of the constant surveillance;
  • Nursing home staff feeling as if they are constantly being watched and thus inhibited while doing their jobs.

Patient Rights and Privacy

A recent New York Times piece discussed patients’ rights regarding video cameras in nursing home rooms and the privacy laws surrounding them. In the article, the daughter of a nursing home resident placed a video camera in the mother’s room to monitor her care and then faced issues with the facility rejecting the camera, citing privacy laws under HIPAA.

Throughout the country, other facilities have declined to allow residents and their loved ones the opportunity to install these cameras, citing HIPAA violations as well.

Tips for Selecting a Long Term Care Facility

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a long term care facility for your loved one. Consider the following as you visit potential nursing homes:

  • Do staff members appear to be overworked or stressed? Overburdened staff members can lead to neglect.
  • How do the residents spend their time? Are there organized social activities or are residents largely kept in their rooms?
  • Is the nursing home cleaned regularly and well maintained? Is there an odor smell of urine or overflowing trash cans? A nursing facility should be cleaned regularly to ensure residents’ health.

Work with a Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Ensuring the safety of our loved ones is an ongoing challenge. If you suspect your loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect at the hands of the staff of his or her nursing home, contact our team of experienced Louisville nursing home abuse attorneys to schedule your consultation to determine how to proceed. At Becker Law Office, we are here to help you be the advocate your relative deserves.