In July, we wrote about a man who suspected that his elderly mother was being abused by the staff in her nursing home. This was a particularly disturbing thought because the woman had advanced Alzheimer’s and could not effectively communicate. Therefore, he set up a hidden camera and was able to gather documented proof of the abuse.
Sadly, nursing home abuse is a common phenomenon. However, like this courageous man, more and more families are beginning to use cameras to protect and monitor their loved ones in nursing homes. Over the last decade, the use of “granny cams,” as they are called, has helped catch incidences of nursing home injuries in several states, including here in New Jersey.
Earlier this year, workers at a New Jersey nursing home were caught abusing an 87-year-old woman. This led to a wrongful death lawsuit in June. Authorities in New York arrested 22 employees in two facilities last year thanks to abuse footage caught on hidden cameras.
Granny cams have been able to document physical and sexual abuse, neglect and even employees who steal medication from patients. Many advocates for elderly rights say that the increase camera monitoring has proven to be one of the best ways to deter elder abuse and to catch those who do it.
Unfortunately, while there has been legislation in 15 states to allow cameras in long-term care facilities, only three states have passed such laws. Many nursing homes and other facilities have tried to fight efforts to allow more camera monitoring by citing privacy concerns. This raises the questions: whose privacy are we talking about, and what do you have to hide?
It is never an easy choice to place a loved one in a long-term care facility. It is especially painful if you suspect your parent or grandparent might be a victim of abuse. In these cases, a qualified personal injury attorney can advocate for your family and help you understand your legal rights.