When you put your elderly loved ones in a nursing to provide better care for their needs, you believe that they will be treated carefully and respectfully. Though you are not there with them all the time, you want to make sure they are safe. However, there have been countless cases of elderly abuse and neglect in nursing homes that has caught the attention of the government, forcing them to take drastic measures to eliminate this growing problem.
Illinois Laws pertaining to Surveillance Cameras in Nursing Homes
In January, 2016, Illinois passed new laws to install surveillance cameras in nursing homes that were allowed in private rooms as well. The purpose of passing this law was to limit the nursing homes’ staff from elderly abuse and neglect and stifle the urge of abusers to mistreat the residents. The law also allowed the installation of cameras in special needs schools to monitor the treatment of children.
Is Installing Surveillance Cameras a Good Idea?
Cameras provide the family members peace of mind and reassurance that their elderly loved one is getting the right treatment in their absence. Any form of neglect and/or abuse would be recorded, allowing them to spot the abuser, whether it is from the staff or an outsider. The footage can be used as a piece of evidence to support the claim so that the abuser can be terminated or stopped from visiting the nursing home. This will reduce the probability of maltreatment in the first place, as the knowledge of being monitored would discourage the abuser from engaging in such activities.
Moreover, families can request access to the surveillance footage, and observe for themselves the level of care being provided to their elderly loved ones by the staff members. Another benefit of installing cameras is that nursing staff can easily monitor the elderly and instantly know when they are feeling restless or need assistance to go to the bathroom or with anything else. It can prevent accidents, like falling from bed, as well as dislodging of oxygen tubes and other equipment, allowing the staff to rush to the troubled resident’s room and remedy the problem before it causes any damage to their wellbeing.
Are There any Downsides?
One of the most controversial aspects of surveillance cameras in private rooms is the invasion of privacy. Nursing home residents are adults, and most of them are conscious about their privacy. Since they have adopted a lifestyle at the facility, an elderly person can feel very uncomfortable that they are being monitored all the time. On the flip side, some residents may be satisfied with the idea, as they feel more secure.
Another potential problem is the reliance of nursing staff on the cameras for monitoring the residents from their stations, reducing the interaction and frequency of physical checks. This can lead to problems where the residents may feel lonely due to lack of human contact or unable to ask for assistance in non-urgent matters.
From a legal viewpoint, having surveillance cameras in nursing homes can provide plaintiffs with a solid piece of evidence to bring a claim against the facility in the event of abuse or neglect. If you or your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you should work with an experienced attorney who can help you with your case. Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.