Can Webcams Prevent Nursing Home Abuse?

Posted in: Catastrophic Personal Injury | Oct 20,2019

Image result for nursing home negligenceMore and more Americans are using webcams installed in their loved ones’ rooms in nursing homes as a means of deterring elder and nursing home abuse.

Nanny cams have been around for a long time as a means of monitoring the actions of the caregivers of young children. Similarly, “granny cams” have now become popular as means of monitoring the care of elderly loved ones in nursing homes.  Many Americans are now using webcams attached to the wall or pieces of furniture in their loved ones’ rooms at nursing care facilities in order to record staff behavior with their loved ones, as well as other aspects of their loved ones’ care.

The advantages of having a “granny cam” are many. They are likely to encourage staff members to practice safe and appropriate handling practices with residents. Staff members are likely to be more careful and diligent in adhering to the rules when they know that their every move and action is being recorded by the device. Besides, webcams could also provide evidence of abuse or neglect of the resident.

Indiana currently doesn’t have a specific law that permits relatives to affix webcams in a loved one’s room in a nursing home. The laws concerning the installation of such recording devices are vague in our state.  At least 6 other states currently have such laws. The tide, however, is turning in favor of family members who want to install these cameras in their loved ones room. In Minnesota, for example, a court  ruled in favor of a family member who found that the webcam she installed in her mother’s room was frequently unplugged or turned away by staff members at the nursing home.

There are privacy issues to consider, however. There webcams can record every facet of the resident’s care including changing, bathing and washing routines which the resident would not like. Moreover, if the webcam also has an audio recording device, conversations that the resident may have with family members, spouses or intimate partners may also be recorded.

If you suspect that your loved one is being subjected to neglect or abuse at a nursing home, get in touch with an attorney at Montross Miller before you go ahead with installing a camera. There may be legal or privacy ramifications to such an action that you can address with a lawyer at our firm.  You can also discuss the various steps that you can take if you suspect abuse of your loved one. For instance, pictures or documented evidence can be useful in protecting your loved one’s legal rights.

Get in touch with an attorney at our firm, and discuss how you can best protect your loved one.