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Understanding the “Granny Cam” Law in Illinois

 Posted on January 11, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse

elmhurst nursing home abuse lawyerIn 2015, the Illinois legislature passed a law allowing family members to place cameras in the rooms of their loved ones who reside in nursing homes. This law is commonly referred to as the “Granny Cam” law, and it offers families peace of mind knowing that they can monitor their loved one’s daily activities and ensure that they are receiving quality care. Before you install a granny cam, however, there are several things you should know about how this law works.

Who Can Place a Camera?

Under the Granny Cam law, only certain family members—including the resident’s legal guardian or power of attorney, spouse, adult child, sibling, grandchild, or parent—are allowed to place a camera in a nursing home resident’s room. The family member must also provide notice to the facility before installing a camera and obtain permission from any other roommates residing in the same room. Under the law, a roommate who does not wish for a monitoring device to be installed in their room is to be moved by the facility to another room.

What Types of Cameras Are Allowed?

The Granny Cam law allows only most types of cameras to be used inside nursing home facilities. These generally include audio and video recording devices that use visible light spectrum technology. Cameras must be positioned such that they do not record outside the resident's room (e.g., common areas) and should not interfere with normal activities within the room or pose any safety hazards for residents or staff.  Additionally, all recordings made using these cameras must be stored securely so as to protect them from unauthorized access or tampering.

The costs related to the installation and ongoing electronic monitoring are the responsibility of the resident or the resident’s authorized representative. The facility must make reasonable accommodations to assist with the installation of a monitoring device—such as providing access to an equipment room—and may not charge additional fees to the resident’s account.

No Surprises

Under the Illinois Granny Cam Law, an installed monitoring device must be in plain sight, such as on a table or shelf. It cannot be hidden inside another object or intentionally obfuscated from view. The resident and any roommates may request that the device be turned off or blocked during exams or other sensitive times, and the request must be honored. In addition, a notice must be placed at the entrance to the room letting those who enter know that monitoring is taking place.

The facility is not permitted to access any video or audio recording created through authorized monitoring without the written consent of the resident or the resident’s authorized representative. If a potential issue arises and a specific period of recording might help address the issue, any involved party can request a copy of the recording, and the resident or the authorized representative is expected to comply with the request.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you have a loved one in a nursing home and the facility is making it tough for you to have a legal monitoring device installed, there is serious cause for concern. Contact an experienced Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer from Schwartz Injury Law to get the help you need in protecting your loved one. Call 312-535-4625 for a free consultation today.



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