Nursing Home Abuse Prevention Using Video Cameras

Most of us have aging adults in our lives. We want these beloved people to be able to live their final years in dignity. This is why it is so important to stop elder abuse, if or when you suspect that your loved one is being neglected or hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually or financially. If you need help in revealing elder abuse in your elder’s life, you can reach out for help from a phoenix personal injury lawyer to help with your situation.

Why Elder Abuse Happens

Aging adults become more vulnerable with each passing year, particularly after they are no longer able to fully care for themselves. This loss of independence is to be expected in aging, but is not something that should put them in harm’s way. Whether your loved one is placed in a nursing home or other facility, they should be able to rely upon that facility’s staff for the nutrition, personal hygiene, exercise, medication and attention they need for healthy living.

Sadly, all too many elder adults experience abuse and neglect in these facilities paid to care for them. So what should you look for, if you suspect that your loved one is suffering elder abuse or neglect? Look for these signs:

  • Open wounds
  • Abrasions
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Poor hygiene
  • Torn or stained bedding
  • Torn or stained clothing
  • Unresponsiveness in your loved one
  • Changing demeanor or personality
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Disappearance of personal items
  • Strange financial transactions
  • Bed sores
  • Untreated infections
  • Trips and falls

First Steps If You Suspect Elder Abuse

The first steps you should take if you suspect elder abuse is to talk with the nursing supervisor or staff administrators at the facility. Ask that the issues of your complaint are investigated. If you know that your loved one is suffering in elder abuse, you should instead immediately call an elder abuse attorney.

You need to protect your beloved elder’s rights. If you are not satisfied that your loved one is well-treated, your elder abuse attorney will help you fix the problem once and for all.

As the Seattle Times reported recently, many families are working hard to protect their loved elders living in nursing homes. They are using the latest types of video cameras to investigate issues on their own. “nanny cams” have now given way for addition of “granny cams” to these lines of small, secretive cameras that can help families watch over their elders’ care. Granny cams also help identify employees of nursing care facilities who mistreat the elderly or abuse them outright.

Although this sounds like a quick and easy way to find out what is going on in your elder’s life, there are major legal and privacy issues with using such devices. You can get into trouble for these actions, just as some recent cases have proven. In some states, using a granny cam can result in more trouble than it is worth to use them. Experts can help you find out if your loved one is being abused without resorting to anything illegal.

State Perspectives on Granny Cams for Elder Abuse

Throughout many U.S. states, use of these technologies is being reviewed and new policies are being developed. Many people in the nursing care industry are clear that legalized use of granny cams would raise insurance rates and there would be many problems of privacy for employees and the residents in their care.  Having such cameras around may make it harder to hire staff. Other concerns are that the cameras could lead to misrepresentation of incidents, due to limited perspective.

In Ohio recently, a man filed a wrongful death lawsuit against two nursing home workers after using a granny cam. These workers were accused of abusing his 78 year-old mother. The elderly victim was physically abused and hurt in other ways. In New York in a recent year, 22 workers were arrested when granny cams revealed abuse and mistreatment of elder patients.

Texas, New Mexico and Maryland have adopted new laws regarding granny cam use in elder care facilities. Although privacy of the elder family member is an issue, cameras can be effective in capturing evidence of abuses or neglect, when those are suspected.

Legal Help When You Suspect Elder Abuse

It can be agonizing to believe that your vulnerable aging family member may be in the care of people who abuse or neglect them. If you have an elder loved one who resides in a nursing home, other facility or in their own home under caregiver supervision, you do have help available if you suspect elder abuse.

Stephen Boutros

About the Author

Stephen Boutros Ltd. is dedicated to provide strong legal representation for all types of personal injury cases throughout Harris County, Texas.

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