I am a big proponent of using surveillance cameras in nursing homes especially when privacy concerns are protected.  There are numerous benefits to placing cameras in certain areas of the facility.  Medication room, nursing station, and hallways and exits would deter theft, neglect, and elopements.  They would also protect seniors in hospices, nursing homes and other group home settings from abuse, and would comfort guardians of such patients who might live far away.

The San Francisco Chronicle had an article about a proposal to let patients in care facilities or their families or guardians install surveillance devices in the patients’ rooms.  "The capabilities of monitoring from a remote location provide a sense of security to both the facility and the residents," said Cegavske, the bill’s primary sponsor.

Cegavske said she introduced SB290 in large part because of an unexplained hand injury her mother sustained while in a Minnesota nursing home last year. Cegavske’s mother has Alzheimer’s disease and can no longer play the piano as a result of the injury. 

Also backing the bill was Lillian Mandel, who said her mother was abused twice last year in a nursing home. She said one of the incidents involved a diaper shoved in her mother’s mouth.

"I realized I needed some kind of evidence in my mother’s room to protect her and any senior around because this is totally unacceptable," Mandel said, adding that the cases involving those responsible for abusing her mother were eventually resolved.

Changes to the bill made in the Senate specify that the monitoring devices use video without sound.   Why is that necessary?  What if someone is yelling out for help–shouldn’t the camera record that? 

Another change would release the facility from liability arising from any issues involving the monitoring device.


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