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Can cameras be used to protect nursing home residents?

A national debate is currently going on over the legality of video surveillance cameras in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

On one hand, the families of residents say that video cameras can protect their loved ones from abuse and neglect, while on the other hand many facilities argue that the cameras infringe on the privacy of workers and other residents.

As a recent news article on the matter pointed out, cameras in long-term care facilities are somewhat expected in today’s ultra-connected world, where video feeds connect just about everyone.

If there are nursing homes that haven’t addressed the issue yet, then they certainly will soon.

Some states have decided to tackle the issue by creating laws that regulate the use of cameras in long-term care facilities. States such as Texas, New Mexico, Washington and Oklahoma have all expressly permitted electronic monitoring in long-term care facilities.

The state of Maryland has decided to let the facilities decide whether or not to allow cameras, and a few other states are currently considering measures on the matter. So far, no states have banned the use of video surveillance.

Those in favor of the video surveillance point to numerous cases in which footage has been used to prove that neglect or abuse was taking place. They say that since many residents in long-term care facilities are extremely vulnerable, the cameras serve an important purpose.

Ultimately, if you suspect that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, a surveillance camera may be one way to prove that it is taking place. However, check your state laws before installing a hidden camera in your loved one's room.

Additionally, it would be wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area who has experience handling nursing home abuse cases for advice on the procedure to follow in order to make sure that your loved one’s rights and interests are being protected.

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Murphy & Landon

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