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When you entrust the care of an elderly loved one to a nursing home or long-term residential facility, it is with the understanding that he or she will be provided with the appropriate level of care and attention. Of course, even under the best of circumstances, accidents can happen, and the elderly may be especially vulnerable to falls and other injury-causing mishaps. In recent years, however, allegations of nursing home negligence and abuse have dramatically increased, and states around the country are beginning to take notice.
According to some estimates, nursing home negligence and abuse have become issues in as many as one in three facilities, and reported cases number thousands each year. To combat the problem, many families have expressed the desire to place so-called “granny cams” in the rooms of their loved ones. Beginning in 2016, the state of Illinois has determined that families do have the right to install such cameras and must be permitted to do so if they choose.
A new law passed earlier this year, called the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act, allows family members of nursing home residents to install surveillance devices at their own expense. The cameras are limited to the private room of the resident and consent of the room’s resident(s) must be obtained. Signs announcing the use of recording devices must be posted, and the cameras are not permitted to take still photographic images. The facility and its staff must also be notified that the room is being monitored. In addition, the facility may request the recordings to assist with any type of criminal, civil, or administrative misconduct investigations.
As you might expect, the permission granted by the new law is likely to give families around the state the peace of mind of knowing that their loved one is being responsibly cared for. Nursing home officials have also been welcoming of the idea, indicating that video recordings can help eliminate the misunderstandings that lead to many negligence or abuse allegations. Officials also acknowledge that known surveillance will also help keep staff on their best behavior. “If everybody knows they’re on camera, I think you’re going to think further about things that you do,” said one Chicago-area nursing home CEO.
Legal Help for Injury Claims
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as the result of a fall or due to negligence or abuse in a nursing home, contact an experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney. We will review your case, investigate the circumstances, and help you obtain the full compensation you deserve. Call 630-920-8855 today to schedule a complimentary consultation.