A recent sexual assault case that led to an assisted living patient unexpectedly giving birth has put all eyes on Phoenix and started a national conversation about conditions in nursing homes. While this situation is nothing short of a tragedy, it has brought attention to many common problems in the nursing homes that are supposed to care for our loved ones.
Arizona legislators have presented a possible solution to the growing problem of nursing home neglect and abuse: video surveillance in common areas.
CAMERA SURVEILLANCE WOULD PROTECT RESIDENTS IN COMMON AREAS
This law would put Arizona in a group of several other states that allow surveillance in nursing homes, including New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, and Kansas. Under the new law, Arizona nursing homes would be able to use electronic monitoring, video surveillance, and other technological tools to protect residents. Cameras would be permitted in hallways, dining areas, recreation rooms, and living areas. However, nursing homes would not be allowed to install cameras in residents’ rooms, which is often where they are most vulnerable.
ONUS ON HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS TO PROTECT PRIVACY
Public reactions to this proposed law are mixed. Some in the industry oppose this law, believing that placing cameras inside a nursing home would make it appear unsafe to potential residents and drive them away from the facility. Others, including the founder of Foundation Aiding the Elderly, believe that this law could keep patients from dying from abuse or neglect.
Another concern is privacy. While safety is a top priority in nursing facilities, residents have the same right to privacy as everyone else, and some worry that video recording could lead to patients’ right to privacy being ignored. Before installing cameras, healthcare providers must demonstrate that surveillance will not violate patient privacy.
VIDEO MONITORING COULD HELP IN PREVENTION AND PROSECUTION
Video monitoring could help residents in two ways. First, the presence of cameras could discourage would-be abusers and ensure that caretakers don’t neglect patients, since recordings could be used to trace a caretaker’s movements in and out of patient rooms. Second, video recordings could be helpful in the prosecution of nursing home abuse cases. Surveillance tapes could catch clear evidence of patient abuse and mistreatment. Hallway cameras could monitor how often patents receive care and how much time caretakers spend in each patient’s room, making it easy for prosecutors to determine if residents have been neglected.
HAS YOUR LOVED ONE BEEN ABUSED OR NEGLECTED?
At the first sign of abuse or neglect, it’s time to reach out to nursing home abuse lawyers in Phoenix. Every moment your loved one spends with neglectful care provider’s puts them at risk of further harm. Reach out to the team at Miller Kory Rowe LLP to discuss your case. Contact our Phoenix office at (602) 648-4045.