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Should Cameras Be Allowed in Nursing Homes?

Garcia & Artigliere

Should a nursing home resident or their family members be allowed to install a video camera or other monitoring device in a senior’s room?

It’s a topic that draws passionate viewpoints from both sides. With a growing senior population in the U.S. — and the high probability for senior abuse to increase as a result — this issue is an important topic to explore.

What do we know so far?

  • A federal bill allowing nursing home patients or their family members to install surveillance in rooms didn’t pass the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.
  • Various states, like Oklahoma and Texas, have passed legislation permitting some monitoring devices.
  • A nationwide ruling on this matter has yet to be made.

Weighing both sides of the issue can bring some clarity on the matter. Positives about installing cameras in nursing home rooms include the following:

  • Family members can observe caretakers and see how they are tending to their senior family member. Any senior abuse instance would be seen and recorded, which would probably result in the termination of the caretaker or staff member. Cameras also act as a good deterrent. Of course, being able to view the loving and detailed treatment of a senior by a caretaker is also a benefit to family members and loved ones.
  • Seniors could possibly receive better care with the use of cameras if the staff is able to access the video feed. This could be especially helpful when nurses and caretakers are dealing with seniors who are restless or nervous and may attempt to get out of bed without assistance. Cameras could help the senior avoid falling. Video monitoring could also get help to a senior more quickly in an emergency.
  • A senior, not to mention the family, may feel more secure with a camera that monitors care.

Cons of installing cameras in a nursing home include:

  • The senior could feel that there is an invasion of privacy with a camera that is constantly observing his or her room. Everyone values privacy. Already in a nursing home, there is a loss of some of the privacy the person once experienced. Seniors may want to hold onto the last bit of privacy they have.
  • Some elderly individuals may be uncomfortable with the idea of people being able to see personal moments or intimate care situations on camera. Even if it is family observing the footage, seniors may feel as though their dignity is being compromised.
  • A camera could alter the dynamic between a resident and a caregiver. Many times, both form a strong bond with each other. However, a camera could make both parties more self-conscious, ultimately inhibiting a healthy relationship to grow between the two.

Unfortunately, elder abuse is occurring frequently and in many forms. Has your loved one been the victim of elder abuse in a nursing home? Call one of our elder abuse lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere to help you through this difficult time. Please visit our website or call (800) 328-2630.


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