For several decades, the problem of nursing home neglect and abuse has received much attention, and awareness of many harmful issues has become widespread. Adult children faced with placing a parent in a nursing home or other care facility have valid concerns about their parents’ health and wellbeing.
New Mexico is one of only a few states with laws allowing the patient or an authorized agent (surrogate) to install surveillance inside patient rooms. Knowing you can keep a watchful eye on your parent may give you peace of mind.
What should you consider before installing cameras?
A top area of concern is preserving your loved one’s right to privacy. If your parent or grandparent strongly objects to video surveillance, you may need to find an alternate solution. Other considerations that can affect your ability to install a camera could include:
- Getting consent for surveillance from roommates or their surrogates
- Remaining compliant with facility policies regarding camera use
- Providing notification of video surveillance to parties (staff members, facility administrators, etc.)
- Naming the parties that can access the video camera
- Preserving patient privacy during dressing, bathing, etc.
- Meeting any costs associated with surveillance
You should also know that installing video cameras is not a replacement for your direct involvement with your loved one. They still need to see you frequently to know that they remain a valuable member of your life. Frequent family visits may also lessen the risk of abuse since the family is so visible to the staff and obviously checking in on their loved one.
If surveillance reveals nursing home neglect or abuse, the evidence could be a powerful tool in your quest to hold the responsible parties accountable. To learn more, please see our Elder Abuse FAQ.