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Are Cameras in Nursing Homes a Good Idea?

Elder abuse is absolutely abhorrent, and friends and family members should do everything they can to prevent their elderly loved ones from becoming the victims of abuse. Over the last few years, enhanced technology has made it more economically feasible for family members to place surveillance cameras in their loved ones’ nursing home rooms. Here, we want to discuss what the law in California says about cameras inside of nursing homes, as well as the pros and cons of this type of surveillance.

California’s Recording Laws

There is no doubt that cameras in nursing homes have captured incredibly disturbing footage and helped prove that abuse has occurred. However, it is important to understand whether cameras are even allowed in nursing homes in California.

In the past, family members have not been allowed to place cameras inside the rooms of loved ones in California nursing homes. However, new regulations that govern the use of cameras in these facilities may actually allow the placement of these cameras.

Here is the problem: the actual nursing home facility has to apply to the California Department of Social Services to allow the use of cameras in a loved one’s room. The nursing home is required to provide the Department with a waiver form detailing certain privacy sections the patient is choosing to waive, and they must also provide an updated Plan of Operation to the Department that describes the video surveillance and outlines how the residents’ privacy and confidentiality at the facility will be protected.

A nursing home can make the decision to NOT allow cameras in the patients’ rooms. If your loved one is at a facility that does not allow any type of cameras in the rooms, you will either have to abide by their decision or move your loved one to another facility that does allow camera placement.

Nursing Home Surveillance Cams: Pros

The obvious benefits of a camera inside of a nursing home facility revolve around ensuring that a loved one is receiving adequate care. Older adults are more prone to instances of abuse than any other member of the population, particularly inside of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A camera can provide loved ones with the ability to ensure that their elderly family member is receiving the care that they deserve and not suffering from any type of neglect or abuse.

Nursing Home Surveillance Cams: Cons

Cameras inside of nursing homes take away privacy. There is no way around that fact. Your loved one will be losing nearly every degree of privacy they have if you decide to put a camera inside of their room at a nursing home. This can be a hard adjustment, particularly for those who retain their full cognitive abilities.

Additionally, the privacy of any other person in the room will also be violated. In California, any other person inside of the nursing home would have to agree to have the camera installed in the first place before it was put in, so this may not be an issue. However, you really do need to consider privacy concerns when debating whether or not to have a camera in your loved one’s nursing home room.

Joel Bryant is the California Elder Abuse Lawyer

If your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, turn to Riverside nursing home abuse attorney Joel Bryant for help immediately. Attorney Bryant will get to work investigating every aspect of your case in order to determine liability and help secure some closure and compensation for you and your family member. These cases must be taken seriously, and working with an attorney will help ensure the accountability of those involved.