Only a few states allow a surveillance camera inside a nursing home resident’s room. As of 2016, Illinois is one of them. In fact, the Illinois Department of Health may even pay for the installation and operation of this equipment. Otherwise, the residents or their families are financially responsible.
Granny cams are a very good way to deter nursing home abuse, gather evidence when it happens, and give loved ones a peace of mind. However, these benefits only come with proper use of these devices.
Special Rules That Apply in Illinois
As mentioned, the way the law is written, it is designed more for deterrence than for evidence-gathering. If you put a surveillance camera into your loved one’s nursing home room, you must adhere to the following rules:
- The camera must be in a “conspicuously visible location.” The Granny Cam law is not the Candid Camera Show.
- Signs must be posted outside the room, and outside the entrance to the facility, which state that electronic monitoring is in use.
- The resident and the resident’s roommate must both sign state-approved consent forms. Each form must include some specific provisions, such as no audio and no recording during certain activities, like dressing and undressing.
Granny cams are such a new development that there are very few reliable safety statistics. But potentially, these surveillance cameras could be as effective as home security systems.
What Granny Cams Guard Against in Rockford
Many nursing homes in the Rockford area are now dangerously understaffed. The rising elderly population has swelled resident ranks. And, there are not enough qualified workers to supervise them. These conditions lead to abuse like:
- Staff-on-Resident Abuse: Overworked staff members sometimes take out their frustrations on residents. Many residents are so frail that just a little physical force can cause serious injury. Moreover, surveillance cameras may or may not reduce this kind of abuse. Sometimes, physical abuse is a calculated event, and sometimes it is spontaneous.
- Resident-on-Resident Abuse: Cameras probably will not prevent this type of abuse either. But, these cameras do provide valuable evidence if it happens. Typically, the nursing home is legally responsible for these injuries, as outlined below.
- Emotional Abuse: Often, emotional abuse involves long periods of forced isolation. Staff might do this because there are not enough workers to watch the residents or they may use it as a form of punishment. Cameras might effectively deter this type of abuse.
Damages in a Rockford nursing home abuse or neglect case include compensation for economic damages, like medical bills, and noneconomic damages, like emotional distress. More importantly, a negligence lawsuit provides justice for victims and helps to deter further abuse and neglect.
Who is Responsible for Rockford Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
In neglect cases, such as inadequate attention and resident-on-resident abuse, the nursing home is responsible for damages. The respondeat superior doctrine states that an employer is liable for the negligence of its employees. In Illinois, these key terms are all defined in broad and victim-friendly ways.
The respondeat superior rule usually does not apply in abuse cases, such as staff-on-resident abuse. Such activity clearly falls outside the normal scope of employment. However, the nursing home is usually still responsible, because of theories like negligent hiring and negligent supervision.
Work with Tenacious Attorneys
Nursing home surveillance cameras may alter the complexion of abuse cases in Illinois. For a free consultation with an experienced elder abuse lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. Home and hospital visits are available.