“Granny Cameras” Protect Nursing Home Residents – Trust But Verify
Almost 30 years ago President Reagan uttered the old Russian saying: “Trust But Verify” in addressing important national security issues. Never were truer words spoken when it comes to protecting our family, friends and loved ones in nursing homes. New technology, “Granny Cams” placed in a resident’s room, can help you ensure your loved one gets the care they need and is NOT neglected or abused in a nursing home or assisted living facility. “Granny Cams” are a reliable, easy to use and an inexpensive way to monitor your loved one’s care when you can’t be there.
When we leave after visiting our loved ones in a nursing home, we put our trust in the hands of the nursing home staff to take care of them—to treat them like family. After all, we call them nursing HOMES because we want our loved ones to feel cared for, safe and comfortable, just like they would in their own home. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing home abuse occurs every day in every state. The first step to stopping abuse is detecting it. The “Granny Cam” is an important tool in early detection of elder abuse.
“Granny Cams” have been gaining popularity because of their ability to capture abuse behind closed doors, when no one is watching. The idea first made news headlines after Doris Racher, a concerned daughter of an Oklahoma nursing home resident, suspected her mother’s belongings were being stolen and placed a hidden camera in her room in hopes of catching the thief. What the video actually revealed was devastating. The film captured one nursing home staff member stuffing latex gloves in her mother’s mouth, another taunting her and performing heavy-handed chest compressions.
More recently, a “Granny Cam” caught abuse of a nurse against a resident at a Jersey City nursing home. The resident’s family placed the camera in their mother’s room after months of her suffering bruises and minor injuries that the nursing home could not explain. The footage revealed one nurse tossing the resident around in her bed, slapping her in the head, and other physical and mental cruelty. A lawsuit using proof from the “Granny Cam” revealed the pattern of abuse, resulted in a significant settlement against the nursing home and revoked the nurse’s license.
Elder Abuse captured on “Granny Cams” has inspired many states to pass legislation permitting “Granny Cams” to be used in long-term care facilities, but the concept still remains controversial. Some are concerned that surveillance constitutes an infringement upon privacy rights of residents, roommates, and any others that pass through the room. Because of this, some states have set guidelines that require “Granny Cams” to be “in a fixed position directed at only the intended resident.”
“Granny Cams” should not replace proper nursing home/assisted living care, staffing and training. However, they do provide a means for you to “trust but verify” your loved one is being treated with the care they are entitled to. If you’re interested in using a “Granny Cam,” be sure to check your state laws to ensure their legality. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about the care someone you know is receiving in a nursing home, assisted living, hospital or rehabilitation facility.