Oklahoma Pushes for Increased Elder Care Safety With Video Monitoring in Nursing Homes
Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 10, 2013 - There is a growing push to install video cameras in nursing homes.
The security cameras would be placed to catch incidents of elder care abuse, nursing home neglect and other areas of concern for safety and well-being of home residents. Camera footage, advocates say, would assist facilities identify poor care providers, and would allow law enforcement officers to pursue complaints.
Lawmakers in Oklahoma are considering allowing mandatory video surveillance in that state's more than 300 nursing homes, which serve more than 20,000 residents. The mandatory video monitoring is planned to go to the 2013 Legislature. Proponents of video monitors argue that the cameras will potentially protect nursing home residents from abuse, assaults, rape and theft, and will also allow a way to better monitor daily care.
Video monitors can even help family members check in on their loved ones. The cameras would help in cases where a resident was the victim of an assault or attack and was unable to provide law enforcement with details or identification of the assailant, as well as providing a possible deterrent.
"Video monitoring is becoming increasingly common everywhere from child care centers to pet care facilities, and would not be difficult technology to implement," says Dallas elder law attorney John Hale.
Oklahoma's state AARP chapter has stated that it supports video monitoring; Texas has a law on the books from 2001, designed to protect nursing home residents by allowing them to request electronic monitoring devices. They amended it to also allow the state's more than 100 assisted living residences the same request in 2003.
Opponents of the bill cite concerns that mandatory cameras would be costly for facilities to purchase and install, much less hiring personnel to review tapes. They state that money would be better spent on finding higher quality care and retaining that care with better wages. Other concerns include the effectiveness of such monitoring. If bedrooms and bathrooms are off-limits for cameras due to privacy issues and the majority of abuse takes place out of public view, cameras may create a false sense of security.
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