Security Cameras

For many people who care for aging parents, one solution is a safe, responsible nursing home. But an increasingly common means of ensuring that safety security cameras install by relatives may do more harm than good, says Clara Berridge, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Washington.
With reports of crimes against nursing home residents gaining media attention around the country, it’s understandable that families would want to protect their love one and attempt to establish accountability for care, Berridge said. But in articles publish late last winter in AJOB Empirical Bioethics and Elder Law Journal; so Berridge outlines the list of legal and moral issues that surveillance raises.

Cameras in resident rooms

The use of cameras in resident rooms is so common that some states have pass laws to help families; also facilities navigate the legal issues. But it’s not just a gray zone for law. Lots of ethical issues are at play, and it raises the question of privacy’s role in our lives. At least 10% of Americans ages 60 and older are believe to have the victim of some form of elder abuse; so whether physical, sexual or psychological.

While most abuse is commit by relatives, the high profile nature of crimes; hence against nursing home residents by facility staff can alarm anyone whose love one is in residential care. This is especially true for families of people with forms of dementia; so because those residents are less likely to be able to accurately report abuse.

For the study published in AJOB Empirical Bioethics, Berridge distribute an online survey through the Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research at Brown University to nursing homes and assist living facilities. More than 270 facilities from 39 states responded to the anonymous survey; which include specific and open end questions about policies and use of surveillance cameras.
Most nursing home residents have a roommate. Protecting their privacy when a camera is in the room be very difficult in practice, especially if the camera picks up audio,” Berridge said. They find that the real life constraints on opportunities to selectively move or cover a camera in a given situation are not acknowledge in the state laws. These are chronically understaffed settings.

Legal responsibility of camera owner

A less cited and often overlook issue, Berridge added; so is the legal responsibility the camera owner has for the security of the feed. Installing a camera without establishing a secure portal; which can expose the resident (and a roommate) to hackers. Respondents to the survey point to potential advantages of cameras, as well, particularly as deterrents to abuse; hence to use by the facilities themselves to inform about individual residents’ needs and as resources to help staff improve.
The measure, which awaits Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature; hence may help people pay for in-home services as Unlike cameras in nursing home rooms that are aimed at potential abusers; so technologies addressed in this study are used to monitor older adults’ activities and behaviors. It’s easy, Berridge explain for adult children to overlook, or even dismiss; so the concerns of a parent when it comes to issues of monitoring care, and the parent’s right to privacy and sense of freedom.
The Elder Law Journal article was fund by the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging. Berridge conduct the survey while a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University through a National Research Service Award from the Agency for Health Research and Quality.