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Surveillance Cameras Important in Fight Against Elder Abuse

A major problem with identifying nursing home abuse is that it is often difficult for family members to learn about the actual quality of care provided by staff members of these facilities. By their very nature, nursing homes provide care to vulnerable community members outside of close observation by the individual’s friends and family. Often, visitors at these locations are given an incorrect impression of the typical lifestyle of residents.

KCRA News reported earlier this year on an interesting approach to correct the oversight problem that may limit the prevalence of elder abuse. Video cameras in the rooms of nursing home residents have the potential to enforce better care and simultaneously provide evidence of poor treatment.

For example, the grandson of one nursing home resident installed a video camera in his 73-year old grandmother’s room. The video revealed that a staff member at the facility-Oaks Residential Elderly Care-was shaking the resident violently in her wheelchair. The grandmother eventually died. The use of this technology has been dubbed “granny cams” in reference to the “nanny cams” used to monitor the treatment of young children.

A nursing home lawsuit was filed in the case of the shaken resident. It was explained that the video camera was out in the open and nursing home staff members were warned of its presence. In that way, the electronic device was intended to serve as a deterrent-forcing staff members to think twice before visibly providing improper treatment. It is important to understand the difference as many local laws prohibit recording in areas where reasonable privacy is expected.

Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti believe that all measures within the law to improve nursing home care should be pursued. If specific deterrent actions ultimately save lives and allow more residents to live without fear of abuse, than those actions should be explored. Please remain vigilant in these matters to ensure your vulnerable friends and family members are not mistreated.

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