RELATED: Maryland Guidelines for Electric Monitoring (PDF)
Three Good Reasons to Use Cameras in Nursing Homes
When the decision comes to move a loved one to a nursing home, we put immense trust in that institution to provide quality care, around the clock. The sad reality is that the nursing home industry nearly always prioritizes profit over quality of care, leading to preventable injuries, neglect, and even theft and abuse. The anxiety over this has led many families to ask Brown & Barron if a camera (often called a “granny cam”) is a good idea.
Here are three reasons in favor of nursing home cameras:
The ability to monitor resident/staff interaction
The obvious advantage is that the camera empowers you to witness the level (and frequency) of care. During COVID-19, this is especially important, as visitation rights have been completely cut off, leaving families in the dark. The restriction on visitation makes sense from an infection-control standpoint, but it removes just about any transparency from a situation that already lacked it. With a camera, the family can ensure that interactions are timely and conducted with care. In the event that an incident occurs, the video could be a powerful tool in removing any employee guilty of substandard care (or worse) and can be used to punish and incentivize the nursing home management to maintain high standards of care.
Providing a deterrent
Assuming the staff is aware of the camera, it would likely reduce the chance a staff member will cut corners with regard to care or conduct themselves in anything but the most professional way. Staff members often provide genuine care and form bonds of friendship with residents, and many of the issues that plague nursing homes are decisions that are out of the control of staff members. Letting the staff know that you are including the camera, can be a positive thing, especially if you do not have any suspicions of abuse or neglect. In any profession there will be mistakes, but the reality is that we often act differently when we know we are being filmed.
Peace of mind
The elderly often bruise easily and can be prone to falls, and both situations can happen even with the most attentive care. The camera gives you the peace of mind to know for sure. Of course, the camera cannot be everywhere that abuse can occur, but it can be the difference between the peace of mind that your elderly loved one is well cared for, versus the anxiety of always wondering.
Before You Consider a Camera
The laws vary on the use of personal cameras in nursing homes depending on your state. The most common issue is privacy, especially if your loved one has a roommate, as it would be nearly impossible to protect the privacy of the roommate. The question of legality is even more complicated if there is audio being recorded, and audio is also more challenging with a roommate. Another lesser known complication is the responsibility of the camera owner to protect the feed and storage of the material being recorded from being hacked.
If you have a question about using a camera at your nursing home, contact our team by calling (410) 213-3242 today for a consultation.
Our attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC focus on representing nursing home residents who have been neglected or abused. We know first-hand how these facilities function, and just how vulnerable residents are to injuries. If you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, we invite you to contact our team as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options. If you have any questions, please call (410) 213-3242.