Using a Camera to Document Nursing Home Abuse

Posted October 9th, 2014 by .

Categories: Personal Injury.

bed-sores-elderly-attorneyIt is unfortunate, but nursing home abuse is a very real thing.  The family may become suspicious when their loved one becomes despondent and withdrawn.  Tell tales signs such as bed sores and inexplicable bruises may surface.  Are cameras necessary in nursing homes?  Although they are not a requirement, some concerned families are installing them in patient rooms.  It is a take on nanny cams used to capture potential abuse of babysitters and their charges.  But is it legal?

Only four states currently have laws regarding private installation of cameras in nursing home facilities — New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington.  Maryland’s laws have one caveat: The nursing home must allow the resident or family member to install the camera.  One might wonder if the facilities are concerned that some negligent behavior will be unveiled.  Is there the possibility that nursing staff could be captured on camera?

New Jersey does not have legislation in place regarding the placement of cameras in nursing homes.  However, that did not stop one Hudson County family.  A couple of years ago, they suspected the abuse of their 87-year-old mother.  They reported the unexplained bruises to the management of the North Bergen’s facility.  The family also expressed their fears to the state.  When their concerns went unanswered, the family took the next step.  They installed a nanny cam.  A review of the video confirmed their suspicions.  A nurse’s aide was subsequently arrested for assault and varied other charges.

There is no law that forbids the installation of cameras in nursing homes.  However, there is the issue about ownership of the property.  Despite the expenditure, the patients and their families do not own the rooms they occupy in the facility.  In addition, there are laws concerning eavesdropping and wiretapping.  Conceivably, installation of a nanny cam could be considered adverse to those rules.  Perhaps the issue is best addressed if the nursing home is advised of its use.  It is certainly a good way to keep the staff in check.

Unfortunately, most people are not able to constantly monitor their family members in nursing homes.  If you are concerned that your loved one is possibly the subject of abuse, you need an expert on your side.  The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone have extensive experience in these types of cases.  They have the resources to determine whether a claim exists and pursue on your behalf.  Contact us for an appointment at no cost.

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