Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a complex and emotionally charged decision. Making this decision puts our loved ones and us in a vulnerable position. The increased care and attention aging individuals need can make a nursing home the only option. Under the best circumstances, we hope the nursing home facility will provide our elderly loved one with all the care and attention they need.
Regrettably, this is not always the case. Every year, there are up to six million cases of elder abuse throughout the United States. California leads the nation by accounting for 11% of this statistic. Further, most cases of elder abuse likely go unreported.
These statistics highlight the importance of finding a trusted caregiver for your loved one. However, as the saying goes, trust but verify. Cameras in nursing homes can be the best way to ensure your loved one gets the care and attention they deserve.
Are Cameras Allowed In Nursing Homes?
Cameras are a low-cost way to verify that your loved one is treated with respect and dignity by their caregivers. However, until 2015 California only allowed the installation of cameras in public areas. These public areas included hallways, dining rooms, parking lots, and other communal spaces.
Unfortunately, many elderly patients spend most of their time in their rooms. Cameras in common areas provided no protection during these vulnerable periods.
Fortunately, in 2015 the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) issued new rules that allowed for the use of cameras in the rooms of elderly nursing home patients. Since then, many families have been able to use these cameras to hold nursing home staff accountable for mistreating their loved ones.
Rules For Cameras In Nursing Homes
California has rules that govern the use of cameras in nursing home facilities. First, the patient must know about and consent to the camera’s presence. In instances where the patient can not consent, their conservator can provide consent for them.
Second, the CDSS must be provided with a waiver signed by the patient and their family acknowledging the camera’s presence.
Third, the nursing home facility must consent and apply to the CDSS to allow the camera’s use.
Finally, the facility must have a plan to maintain the patient’s confidentiality and store the recordings in a manner consistent with California’s privacy laws.
It is critical to note that you can not hide a camera in your loved one’s room. You must work with the patient, the nursing home facility, and CDSS. Nursing home facilities are not required to allow cameras in patients’ rooms.
How Cameras Can Help
The known presence of a camera alone can prevent many instances of elder abuse. People are less likely to treat people abusively when they realize they are being watched.
Further, camera recordings can provide evidence of abuse when it does happen. This evidence can help you hold the perpetrator of the abuse accountable. Accountability goes a long way toward preventing abuse from happening again.
What Constitutes Elder Abuse And How To Spot It
Older individuals suffer from ailments that make them particularly vulnerable to abuse. Elder abuse includes any intentional or neglectful act that causes a serious risk of harm to any vulnerable adult. Examples of different types of elder abuse include:
- Financial exploitation,
- Emotional abuse,
- Physical abuse, and
- Sexual abuse.
Often loved ones can detect elder abuse even without the aid of a camera. Common signs of elder abuse include:
- Broken bones,
- Bed sores,
- Heightened levels of confusion,
- New scars,
- Lack of hygiene,
- Unexplained STDs, and
- Sudden changes in financial situation.
Many of these signs coincide with symptoms commonly experienced by aging individuals. If you notice a loved one experiencing any of these issues, it is essential to investigate the cause.
What To Do If You Discover Elder Abuse At A Nursing Home
No one deserves to be the victim of elder abuse. If you or a loved one is experiencing elder abuse, our California nursing home abuse lawyers at Silva Injury Law can help. Our experienced attorneys promote healing through effective and compassionate advocacy. We can thoughtfully guide you through reporting elder abuse and obtaining compensation for the damage it causes. Contact Silva Injury Law for a consultation today.
Find Out How We Can Help
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.