Fears of Elder Abuse Call for Bills Allowing Webcams in Nursing Homes
Making the decision to put Grandma or Grandpa in a nursing home is not always an easy one. Expecting a family member to serve as a caretaker is not always feasible, but there are so many incidents of nursing home staff members behaving badly and causing patients to suffer injury and even death.
The issues of nursing home abuse and neglect seem to be increasing, so what is one to do? For many states, the answer is to allow relatives to install webcams in their family member’s room. More and more states are allowing this. In 2014, just three states passed legislation allowing webcams in nursing homes. Five more states have introduced laws since then, and more states are following suit. Currently, Florida is debating a bill that would allow loved ones to demand that nursing home facilities set up webcams in the rooms of their family members. But is surveillance the best way to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect?
There are currently 1 million Americans living in nursing homes across the country. Family members pay a lot of money and expect high-quality care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. While many staff members are well-trained, skilled and very caring, not all nursing home employees share these traits. In fact, because nursing homes are in the business of making a profit, many hire the cheapest labor possible. Because you get what you pay for, cheap labor is not the best. Many employees have criminal backgrounds and a lack of experience, causing many patients to be neglected, physically abused or sexually assaulted.
While family members may think that a webcam in their loved one’s room is a good idea, it raises many privacy concerns. Not only are the caregivers being recorded 24/7, but so are the patients themselves. Their privacy is being intruded upon, and sometimes without their consent, given that many nursing home patients have cognitive issues.
Nursing home patients do not want their lives to be seen on camera. Many have a sense of identity and self. Would a patient want their family members to see them changing their underwear or using a bedpan?
The thought of constantly being watched can make the job even tougher. No employee wants their every action on film. Knowing that someone is always watching can increase stress, since there is no longer any privacy.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Nobody wants their loved ones to be abused in nursing homes. With so many incidents of neglect and abuse occurring in nursing homes across the country, will webcams help uncover these incidents or prevent them altogether?
If you believe your family member is being treated badly in their nursing home, don’t let the abuse continue. Contact the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, then call the experienced West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers at Pike & Lustig, LLP. With our aggressive representation, we can hold the nursing home liable for their actions. We have offices in West Palm Beach and Miami to serve you. Call 561-291-8298 or fill out the online form.