Eight years ago, Steven Piskor saw his beloved mother physically assaulted by nursing home caregivers. Seeing his frail mother’s body flung into bed. Her face poked with a disrespecting finger.
“It was devastating,” he said. “Even to this day, my family can’t look at the video.”
Piskor placed a hidden camera in his mother’s room inside a nursing home run by MetroHealth Medical Center. He placed them there on a hunch. The unexplained bruises. Her quiet moods.
“I began seeing changes in my mom,” he recalled. “By then, I knew something was happening…When I put the camera on, I found abuse in the first two days. But I didn’t know how it was going to be handled.”
The video sent shockwaves through the community. But then, nothing. His mother, Esther “Mitzi” Piskor, died last year at the age of 85. Her son is intent on ensuring her legacy lives on, and that the trauma she endured is not forgotten, or allowed to be repeated.
“Yes, I definitely think it’s time to pass the law.”
He’s talking about “Esther’s Law,” a proposal in the process of being crafted into a bill. While no formal bill has yet been crafted, the heart of the proposal would allow families to place a camera in a loved one’s nursing home room.
Only ten states now have laws dealing with cameras. The proposal would require that cameras not be hidden. A sign would be posted outside the room alerting everyone that a camera is in use. A consent form would allow for the cameras to be turned off for various reasons, such as bathing or visits from doctors or clergy. There are also provisions on roommates and their privacy.