Is your loved one a nursing home resident? Would you consider placing a camera in his or her facility to observe treatment?
We have read a number of stories recently about states looking to pass legislation that would allow family members of nursing home residents to place cameras in facilities to deter abuse and neglect. Remember, Maryland allows family members of nursing home residents to record on property, as long as the facility will permit it. Now, two states, Illinois and Missouri, are also considering proposals allowing for video surveillance.
Some people are opposed to cameras at facilities, saying it threatens the privacy of patients and employees. Other groups, representing seniors, like the AARP, have policies supporting the use of cameras for communication and observation.
In cases where abuse or neglect is possible, recordings at the facilities could be used as evidence. In Illinois, where debate is ongoing, those who support surveillance say that the state’s Department of Public Health receives nearly 20,000 complaints over allegations of abuse or neglect each year. Proponents say that the cameras could document cases and determine legitimacy over claims of abuse and neglect.
Keep in mind, examples of nursing home abuse can include bedsores and malnutrition due to neglect, and issues like medical malpractice, poor medical care and/or prescription drug errors.
We would fully support measures in both Virginia and D.C. that would allow family members of nursing home residents to record activities at facilities. Additionally, it would be beneficial if Maryland expanded its laws to allow this to occur without facility discretion.
Remember, if you have been injured or your family member has suffered due to neglect or abuse at a nursing home, it may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney. Your loved one should not have to suffer because of inadequate care. If your family member is at a facility that receives government funding, you can click here to view information about its record of accomplishment when it comes to personal care.
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P.
Sponsored by: Attorney Thomas McWeeny