The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated and shed light on a problem that has been with us all along: nursing home abuse. Our elders deserve a high standard of care. Sometimes, that care is not provided. This has led to a growing conversation about whether or not cameras belong in nursing homes. There are two opposing viewpoints. One, cameras could protect our elders from abuse. Two, cameras could actually invade the privacy of our elders.
There are legal arguments in favor of both viewpoints — which makes an outcome incredibly difficult to predict.
In Ohio, Esther’s Law will soon be implemented. The law will provide those living in care facilities with the right to install cameras in their own rooms. It’s also a basic compromise between the two aforementioned viewpoints. This is because the law does not mandate cameras in nursing homes. It provides the residents themselves with the option to install them, which would invalidate most invasion of privacy claims.
Elderly Nursing Home Abuse Advocates founder Steve Piskor said, “I would have never known that the abuse was going on if I didn’t put a camera in. One aide went to prison for ten and a half years; one aide went to jail for six months; three aides were fired, and three aides were disciplined. And the nursing home was fined $357,000.”
Piskor’s mother was Esther, the resident whose abuse precipitated the push for a new law after she was abused by at least eight caretakers back in 2011. Piskor hopes the measures will help reduce the estimated 15,000 cases of nursing home abuse in only 2018.
The law provides residents or their guardians with the responsibility for paying for the camera. They also must install and maintain the device while the resident stays in the room, and then remove it when the resident leaves.
Was someone you know the victim of nursing home abuse? Speak to a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible!