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Video Monitoring Next Step in Fight Against Nursing Home Abuse

Written by NHAbuseGuide on August 7, 2015

Video Monitoring Next Step in Fight Against Nursing Home Abuse

Support of a new bill in the state of Illinois is growing as more and more residents become aware of the frequency of nursing home abuse. In a recent newspaper report, it was noted that in the year 2013, the state received roughly five thousand complaints relating to abuse, theft, or neglect in nursing home settings. Over one hundred of them were found to be valid by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Because of that, the new bill proposes the use of audio and/or video monitoring devices that would help to reduce or eliminate almost any threats of such abuses. If the bill passes, residents of the state’s nursing homes would be allowed to install devices in their rooms, and the data from the devices would be legally admissible as evidence in any claims of theft, abuse or neglect.

As it stands now, it would currently represent an invasion of personal privacy if one resident opts for a camera and the other does not. The bill would alter that and make it entirely fair and legal to install a device, even if one person living in the room does not want it.

Additionally, the new laws (if passed) would effectively block any nursing home from retaliatory behaviors towards residents electing to install the devices.

The bill has received tremendous support from state senators and representatives, and awaits the signature of the current governor to put it into effect.

Abuse, Neglect, and Theft Real Problems

As the newspaper indicated, the state receives roughly five thousand reports annually, but it is important to recognize that the numbers (nationally) are far greater. For example, the CDC reports that around 500k instances of elder abuse are made each year. However, the organization has also learned that “for every one case of elder abuse that is detected or reported, it is estimated that approximately 23 cases remain hidden.”

For a great many reasons, a patient in a long-term care facility or nursing home may hesitate or be unable to report the problems. Because of that, the ability to legally install and use cameras and recording devices offers one of the most reliable forms of prevention possible.

The reality is that nursing home abuse, theft, and neglect are real. Patients have their possessions stolen. They are sometimes treated in harmful and dangerous ways. They may be left unattended for long periods of time, and they may even be suffering abuse from another patient and not staff. In any of these instances, documentary evidence in the form of video or audio recordings is the best way to force action to be taken and for the problems to be ended.

If you have a loved one in long-term or nursing care, you will want to always monitor for any signs of neglect or abuse. There are many consequences of elder abuse – whether it is verbal, physical, or even financial. There are also some signs that offer indications that everything is not all right. While it would be ideal if every single patient could have monitoring devices to ensure the utmost safety and care, not everyone does at this time.

Until recording devices are legalized nationally, it is up to the friends and loved ones of those in nursing care to be watchful and proactive about any signs of trouble. If you suspect something is not right, find out if your state allows recording devices and install one secretly to document problems. If you cannot monitor in this way, don’t hesitate to discuss concerns with the administration or management, the authorities, or an attorney.


CDC.gov. Consequences of Elder Abuse. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/elderabuse/consequences.html

NWHerald.com. Our View… http://www.nwherald.com/2015/07/08/our-view-combating-abuse-neglect-in-nursing-homes/asombmi/


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