CHICAGO, IL – Nursing homes have a tale as old as time of how bad residents are abused and neglected in the United States. Sadly, nursing home abuse is just one part of the larger problem at nursing home facilities. More than 5 million people are affected by elder abuse every single year. Cameras in nursing homes continue to regularly exposure the abuse and neglect that innocent residents face daily.
Who can put a camera in their nursing home?
Depending on the nursing home, cameras can be installed in the residents’ room which adds an extra layer of security for family members who are afraid of nursing home abuse.
To no surprise, many nursing home administrators don’t like resident’s having cameras in their private rooms, fearing the cameras invade the privacy of staff members and other residents.
As of 2022, fourteen states allow nursing home residents to have cameras in their private rooms. States include:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
You will also need to follow the protocols set forth under state law. Over a dozen other states are considering laws that would allow nursing home camera in residents’ rooms. If you do not live in one of the listed states but are interested in installing a camera in your loved ones private nursing home room, you must get permission from the nursing home administrator or supervisor.
Small secret cameras can be disguised as small fans, cell phone charges, picture frames, and more to avoid detection. Family members should be sure to set up the camera to catch a full view of the room to ensure their loved ones safety.
The future of hidden cameras
As more laws about nursing home cameras are considered, lawmakers must find a balance between the safety and privacy of residents.
Esther’s Law – named and inspired after Esther Piskor – went into effect in March 2022. In 2011, 78-year-old nursing home resident Esther Piskor was verbally and physically abused by staff members at the facility she lived at. A hidden camera captured the horrifying incident that sent two staff members to jail. Esther’s Law allows cameras in nursing homes with the consent of the resident (or their family) and any roommates involved.
If the roommate or their family doesn’t agree to the camera, the nursing home must help the resident that wants one move to a different room.
More laws are continued to be debated or passed to allow cameras in long-term care facilities. As technology continues to advance, more states may allow cameras to keep residents safe.