Can cameras help deter nursing home abuse?

Nursing homes are supposed to be environments where our elderly and vulnerable loved ones are provided with proper shelter and round-the-clock attention from staff, and many of those staff members are supposed to be trained to provide medical care. There are thousands of caring and professional staff members in New Mexico, but as in any other industry, there are the bad apples as well. One of the options that concerned families have is to place a camera within their loved one’s room as a way to deter nursing home abuse. However, the question remains, are cameras really effective?

Suspicious activity

It can be difficult to determine whether a camera is even needed. Perhaps the best time to consider a camera is right after you begin noticing suspicious activity. For example, if you notice new bruises on your relative’s body each time you visit. Although elderly people tend to bruise easily, continual bruising is not normal. It must also be noted that nursing home abuse is not only physical; it can also manifest in other ways, such as property theft and verbal abuse. These may also warrant the use of a camera.

Recommended camera types

There is some debate over whether a large camera or a small or hidden is the best option. While a large camera may clearly deter an abuser, it is unfortunate reality that some abusers will find away to harm a vulnerable person outside the view of a large camera. In such a situation, it may be better to use a hidden camera. The video evidence collected may also be used by a personal injury attorney to hold the nursing home facility accountable and to seek compensation for what a vulnerable loved one has suffered.

No matter how much evidence you have against the nursing home and those abusing your relative, it is still recommended to seek help from an experienced attorney. For more on these matters, please see our overview of nursing home neglect and our Elder Abuse FAQ.