States Move toward Implementing Surveillance in Nursing Homes

Due to the prevalence of nursing home abuse arising across the nation, some states have begun moving towards implementing legislation to explicitly allow surveillance cameras in the rooms of patients residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. These surveillance cameras will be used to record evidence of instances of elder neglect and abuse. Some states have taken such steps as a response to nursing home abuse and neglect, with hopes of reducing the incidence of abuse against the elderly. There are currently three states that have passed such laws, with Oklahoma being the most recent state. This new Oklahoma law will allow residents to have cameras in their rooms as long as they sign consent forms which notify the facility. The resident will then have exclusive rights to the footage for use in court. The recorded footage was found to have an impact in Oklahoma, where an aide pleaded guilty to abuse and neglect after being caught on camera.

Both Texas and New Mexico also legalized the use of surveillance cameras in nursing homes in an attempt to catch instances of elder abuse and neglect. Oklahoma passed their surveillance law after an outcry arose over recorded evidence of nursing home aides abusing an elderly resident in the facility. Surveillance footage showed Eryetha Mayberry, a 96-year-old woman, subject to various acts of abuse. For example, the nursing home aides were recorded shoving latex gloves into the resident’s mouth. Other recordings showed nursing home staff taunting Mrs. Mayberry, tapping her head, flinging the elderly woman onto her bed from her wheelchair, and performing heavy handed chest compressions thereafter.

While other states have not yet passed similar legislation, some have relied on hidden surveillance cameras to record evidence of nursing home abuse and neglect. For example, numerous state facilities were shut down in Ohio after the state attorney general placed cameras in residents’ rooms and found evidence of patient abuse and neglect taking place within these facilities. In one such facility, one aide was recorded leaving a stroke patient’s food by his side repeatedly, even though the patient was incapacitated, needing assistance in order to eat.

Elderly individuals are part of a vulnerable segment of society, and when we place them into nursing home facilities, we trust that they will be cared for and respected. These caregivers are responsible for the health and safety of their patients. If they are inadequately trained or engage in abusive behavior, they are actively putting elderly individuals in danger of harm and injury. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are specialists in nursing neglect law. If you believe that your loved one is at risk of elder abuse or neglect, or has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, we encourage you to contact us at (888) 606-3453 for a free consultation today. We will fight vigorously for your loved one’s rights so that they obtain the justice they deserve.