New Nursing Home Hidden Camera Law

Healthcare Training Resource
October 30, 2013 — 1,224 views  
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For several years, Texas has had strict regulations supporting the use of hidden cameras in nursing homes. Recent events in Oklahoma have sparked the implementation of a similar law in the state, allowing the installation of undercover cameras in nursing homes. The state has had a reputation of being one of the worst in terms of the quality of nursing home care. In fact, Families for Better Care, a non-profit elder advocacy group, conducted a study and gave an “F” rating to Oklahoma.

Recorded Video of Abuse Prompts Legislation

A 96-year-old nursing home patient was abused by two caretakers in her room at a nursing home in Oklahoma City. Luckily, this incident did not go unnoticed because an undercover camera caught everything. The two women caught on tape were arrested and the video prompted the legislation to allow the installation of hidden cameras in nursing homes across the state. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill back in May and it will finally come into effect from November 1, 2013.

Supporters of this new law include Wes Bledsoe, the founder of a non-profit group called A Perfect Cause, which works to improve the quality of elderly care. Bledsoe stated that his grandmother also suffered as a nursing home victim and could have been saved with the help of hidden cameras. After his grandmother's death, Bledsoe passionately worked toward improving nursing home conditions and even advocated the Protect Our Loved Ones Act.

The Issue with Nursing Homes and Hidden Cameras

In some nursing homes, families of residents are not allowed to install video cameras, and if they do, they get threatened with eviction. Bledsoe encourages families of nursing home patients to make use of undercover cameras with this new legislation and ensure that their loved ones get high-quality care. This can help them in keeping a close check on the quality of care given to their loved ones and monitor any type of neglect or abuse.

For many nursing home residents, their family members fail to ask about hidden cameras before signing them up. Most of the time, this would be because they indubitably believe that there won't be any kind of abuse or neglect in that particular nursing home. With the law allowing families of nursing home patients to install hidden cameras in the rooms, there is an impending need for health care professionals and caretakers to pull up their socks and keep a close eye on their co-workers as well. Whether or not they are being watched, they must ensure that every patient under their care receives the highest level of care possible.

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