Surveillance Equipment In Nursing Home Rooms: Common Questions


Nursing home abuse has made the news many times within the last several years. People who entrust the care of their aging or ailing loved ones to these facilities are definitely on high alert. In the technologically advanced world that exists these days, surveillance equipment is more accessible than ever. Knowing these two ideas, it is logical to consider installing a surveillance device in your loved one's nursing home room just to keep an eye on things if you suspect abuse. Here's what you need to know first. 

Is it legal to use surveillance equipment in a nursing home?

States have their own laws and regulations when it comes to placing privately installed surveillance equipment in nursing home facilities. Some states specifically prohibit this action, but a handful of others do allow it. As of 2017, Oklahoma, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, and Illinois allowed surveillance devices in nursing home rooms with consent provided by the patient. If a room is shared, the roommate must also give their consent to have the equipment installed. If you suspect there is abuse and are unsure of the laws in your state, it is best to consult a nursing home abuse attorney for advice about installing surveillance equipment. 

Where should the equipment be placed?

The equipment can be placed at multiple points in the room. However, it is best if surveillance video equipment is placed in a way that there is a broad view of the common areas of the space. For example, you will want the bed, chair, and bathroom door in view in the footage. If you are using an audio-recording device, it is best to place the device in an area where there will not be a lot of noise pollution. For instance, you would not want the device placed near the television, near the door to the exit of the room, or near a heating/cooling unit or fan. 

Do you have to let the administrator know what you're doing?

In most cases, yes. The laws will require that you alert the nursing home administrator that you are placing a surveillance device in your loved one's room. There are good reasons for this requirement. For one, the administrator will know the device exists so staff can be mindful of the privacy concerns of other patients. For example, no information regarding someone other than your relative could be discussed in the room with the surveillance device. 


20 May 2019

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