Is it Legal to Put a Hidden Camera in your Loved One’s Room in a Nursing Home?

ImageA nursing home is one of the long term care settings that offer a high level of care. If you are unable to take care for a loved one who requires extensive assistance, this care facility can be a good choice. However, you must have heard horrible stories of residents who experience abuse in these facilities. The good news is, abuse can be easily detected and perpetrators can be easily caught through hidden cameras.

If you have loved ones residing in a nursing home and you have suspicions of elder abuse, installing a hidden camera in their room can be a smart move. But before you do so, you need to ask if putting this device in the facility is legal.

Are Hidden Cameras Legally Allowed in Nursing Homes?

Whether or not installing hidden cameras is legal depends on the laws of the state. Its legality should be the first thing you need to consider before you install this device. You need to proceed with caution because this can have consequences, including jail time. Furthermore, keep in mind that recording audio such as an employee’s voice without consent can also be deemed as illegal under federal wiretapping and eavesdropping laws.

Currently, Texas, New Mexico, Maryland, and Oklahoma have laws that legalize hidden cameras in skilled nursing facilities. Meanwhile, other states are still deliberating if they should implement a similar law.

Seeking legal advice from attorneys who specialize in nursing home abuse can explain to you the laws regarding hidden cameras in these facilities. As you talk to this professional, make sure that you ask the right questions such as:

  • Can the camera be hidden or does it have to be seen easily?
  • Does the facility need to be informed before I install the device?
  • Do I need to ask permission from my loved one? What if he or she is not able to do so?
  • Is audio recording allowed?

Ensuring Quality of Care: The Main Advantage of Having a Hidden Camera Installed

The case of Eryetha Mayberry, a dementia patient who resided in a nursing home, shows how a hidden camera can help detect maltreatments against residents of care facilities.

Doris Racher, the daughter of Eryethra, noticed that some of the things that she bought for her mother began disappearing. Initially, she suspected that it’s another resident who took these things. To get to the bottom of the situation, Doris installed a motion-activated camera disguised as an alarm clock in her mom’s room. After two months, they decided to look at the recordings and were surprised and alarmed at what the camera caught. More than a thief, they saw footages of Mrs. Mayberry being abused by nursing home caregivers. One culprit pleaded guilty while the other was suspected to have left the country.

More than detecting abuse, the main reason why people are opting to install a hidden camera in their loved one’s room in a nursing home is to make sure they are receiving the quality of care that they deserve. If you intend to provide extra protection for your loved one through this device, just make sure that you do so within legal boundaries.

 

Sources:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/legal-put-hidden-camera-loved-ones-room-nursing-home/

http://www.joyelawfirm.com/blog/2013/11/put-spy-cam-grannys-room-nursing-home/#axzz2tMmgYPPa

http://nanny-cam-review.toptenreviews.com/is-it-legal-to-use-a-nanny-cam-in-a-nursing-home-.html

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/watchful-eye-in-nursing-homes/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

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