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New Law Coming for Cameras in Nursing Homes

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Not long ago we wrote about installing cameras in nursing homes (Click HERE for link). Evidently that post was prescient, given that today Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that a legislative bill will be forthcoming to do just that. The Attorney General's office is working on language that would clear the way for residents to be able to have a camera in their rooms. Read about it at:

CLICK HERE (Chi Trib)

or

Click HERE (Sun Times) (credit: featured photo above)

The law seeks to address ongoing problems with elderly abuse, which we can certainly say is prevalent. In the last year, we've investigated reports and records for about 60 serious cases of neglect or abuse. For example, in one recent case in particular, strong questions were raised about a fall incident based upon photo evidence showing bruising in locations that did not match employee explanations; but ultimately no proof sufficient for a case existed after a coroner's inquest did not happen. A camera would have much such a situation an easy case.

It seems the question of whether to install a camera is similar to the questions (raised recently in the news regarding Ferguson, Missouri) about whether police should wear cameras. You never need a camera to answer the question of "what happened" - until you do. Then it's too late. If things are being done properly by care providers, then there should be no problems with being on camera. If ever there is a question of how often a resident was visited by nurses, turned over to different positions in bed, administered medications, or any number of routine tasks, the proof would be readily available on recording. That seems good for everyone - perhaps even cutting down on litigation when recordings don'treveal neglect by nursing staff at facilities.

Illinois State Senator Terry Link will be looking for co-sponsors when the language is written. If this is legislation you'd like to see pass, don't forget to write your support to your local representative.

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