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Can I Use a Hidden Camera to Monitor My Loved One in a Nursing Home?

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysNursing home abuse and neglect is disturbingly common. Sadly, nursing home residents across the country are subjected to cruel treatment and denied necessary care. Sometimes, nursing home neglect or abuse is so severe that it even results in the death of a resident.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you may spend hours and hours wondering about the quality of care he or she is receiving in the facility. You may worry that substandard care or intentional mistreatment will cause your loved one to needlessly suffer. These concerns may be exacerbated by your loved one’s inability to communicate with you about the type of care he or she is receiving. In response to these worries, some people choose to install a camera in their loved one’s room at the nursing home.   

Why Do People Install Cameras in Nursing Homes?

It is hard to know for sure how many innocent nursing home residents are subjected to mistreatment in the United States. Across the country, it is widely recognized that many nursing home facilities are exceedingly understaffed. Because of this, many residents do not receive the medical attention and personal help they need to be safe. Even worse, some nursing home staff intentionally subject residents to physical, psychological, or sexual abuse.

If a resident has major physical or cognitive disabilities, he or she may not be able to report abuse or neglect. Residents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may be too confused to accurately describe the quality of treatment they are receiving in the facility. A camera may be able to offer objective evidence regarding the quality of care that a nursing home resident receives. However, these so-called “granny cams” have also been the source of controversy. Some people feel that these cameras violate resident privacy while others believe that the cameras are a necessary step in preventing resident abuse and neglect.

Legality of Installing a “Granny Cam”

You may be wondering whether it is even legal to install a camera in a nursing home facility. The laws regulating the use of cameras in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities vary significantly from state to state. In 2016, the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Facilities Act became effective in Illinois. Under this legislation, families are permitted to install video or audio recording devices in their loved ones’ nursing home rooms. However, the cameras must be installed in a “conspicuously visible location,” and cannot be located in a common area of the facility. This means that secret or hidden cameras are not permitted.

There must also be signs posted outside of the resident’s room indicating that electronic monitoring is taking place. The resident or the resident’s personal representative, as well as the resident’s roommate, must sign a consent form before the camera can be installed.

Contact an Illinois Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer

To learn more about nursing home surveillance or if you have reason to believe that your loved one may have been neglected or abused in a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law for help. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Illinois nursing home injury attorney by calling our office at 312-535-4625 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.wqad.com/article/news/local/drone/8-in-the-air/illinois-nursing-homes-to-allow-granny-cams-in-2016/526-ff7a0a8b-a29c-4c53-ad12-12b01bcbe492

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3673&ChapterID=21

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