Should I Put a Nanny Cam in My Loved One’s Room at the Nursing Home?

Was your loved one injured by a nursing home employee? Let The Hayden Law Firm in St. Louis investigate your case today.Nursing home abuse is a problem that is beginning to become well known throughout society. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 64 percent of nursing home staff members confessed to committing some form of abuse or neglect in a 2020 study. Over 12 percent of nursing home staff members specifically confessed to neglecting the needs of their residents.

One of the main causes of nursing home abuse revolves around the fact that nursing homes are chronically are short-staffed, which means the staff that exists is usually burned out. These facilities tend to have a high turnover rate, too, which means some nursing homes have incredibly inexperienced staff. This type of scenario leads to many acts of abuse and neglect committed against nursing home residents. For individuals with loved ones who live in an assisted home or nursing home, your loved one’s safety is your top concern.

You might want to take extra steps to ensure that your loved one is either not being abused or have irrefutable proof that your loved one is suffering from abuse at the hands of the nursing home staff. One action that you may have been pondering is installing a nanny cam or some type of surveillance camera in your loved one’s room at the nursing home. Depending on certain factors such as your state’s laws and HIPAA laws, you may be allowed to install a surveillance camera into your loved one’s room. This is dependent upon whether the nursing home facility is aware of the camera’s presence, and there is a noticeable sign that makes the nursing home staff members aware of the camera’s presence.

Are nanny cams allowed in Missouri nursing homes?

Yes, they are. As of 2020, “guardians of Missouri nursing home residents can now install a camera in their room to keep up with family members during the coronavirus pandemic and to monitor how workers provide care to their loved ones.”

While the law was often hailed as a way to help family members keep in touch during lockdown, it actually does so much more. Not only is video evidence of abuse or neglect admissible in court, it also made it a “class B misdemeanor to intentionally hamper, obstruct, tamper with, or destroy devices installed or data collected under these provisions, or to conduct unauthorized monitoring after a written warning to cease and desist from that conduct.”

Residents have to sign a waiver that shows they understand the “liabilities and rights for residents who place covert or authorized electronic monitoring devices, and the procedures to request authorized monitoring,” and a notice must be posted visibly in the room indicating that the room is under surveillance. You can read the law in full here.

Are nanny cams allowed in Kansas nursing homes?

Yes, they are. As of 2018, nursing home residents, guardians or legal representatives can install a camera in a nursing home resident’s room. The rules regarding consent are very similar to Missouri’s rules; you can read them in full here.

What other states permit surveillance cameras in nursing homes?

Currently, there are eight states that allow these rights to nursing home residents and their family members: Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington. Residents who live in any of these states can install surveillance cameras into their loved one’s room without any hassle from the nursing home staff members.

What if my loved ones’ nursing home is in a different state?

If your loved one does not live in any of these states, you will have to get permission from the nursing home staff before installing a surveillance camera. Installing a surveillance camera without alerting the nursing home staff can lead to more serious legal consequences for yourself and your loved one. Even worse, any footage that can support your claims of elder abuse will be proved inadmissible in court. Another action you can take is learning the nursing home’s policy concerning the use of surveillance cameras.

The benefits of surveillance cameras in nursing home rooms

One of the most obvious benefits is the ability to capture evidence of abuse and neglect while the staff member is in the act. Family members who suspect staff members of committing these acts can keep a closer eye on the staff members through surveillance cameras. Another benefit is the reduction of potential abuse and neglect occurring thanks to the presence of surveillance cameras.

Crimes such as theft and physical abuse can be prevented if nursing home staff members are aware that surveillance cameras are present. Last but not least, additional information such as potential improper techniques that can injure nursing home residents can be discovered thanks to the presence of surveillance cameras.

Do surveillance cameras violate privacy rights in nursing homes?

Nursing home staff argue that the privacy rights of both the nursing home residents and staff members are violated through the use of surveillance cameras. Other residents and staff members may be uncomfortable with the thought of being monitored during some of their more vulnerable moments.

Yet, there is no evidence that a nursing home resident’s private records or private medical information are in jeopardy of being exposed through the use of surveillance cameras. In addition to this factor, the fact that the majority of nursing home abuse is captured on surveillance cameras proves how beneficial they can be in preventing nursing home abuse.

When choosing a personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, experience in your particular type of case is an essential component to bringing a successful claim. The Hayden Law Firm understands the traumatic, long-lasting impact that nursing home abuse can have on your loved one. We also understand that nursing home abuse causes psychological and emotional effects that are not necessarily visible to others. If you or your loved one have been abused at the hands of a nursing home staff member, contact The Hayden Law Firm today. Please call our offices at 314-480-3100 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. We are based in St. Louis, and we proudly serve clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.