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Do you need a “granny cam” in your loved one’s nursing home?

It’s never easy to put a loved one in a nursing home. You’d much rather have them at home with you, but they require more care than you can give — but you’re still concerned about their well-being.

Maybe it’s time to get a “granny cam.”

A new law makes cameras legal in Missouri nursing homes

You may not realize this because the law is still relatively new, but Missouri is the latest state in the nation to authorize so-called “granny cams,” or electronic monitoring in nursing homes and assisted living communities.

Called the “Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act,” the law went into place in the later half of 2020 after a great deal of debate. Missouri joins at least five other states that have already put such laws in place over the last few years. Advocates say that the presence of recording devices and cameras in nursing homes can be an effective deterrent against abuse and neglect — especially when family members aren’t able to visit their loved ones in person.

There are rules about how the cameras can be used

The ability to put a camera in a loved one’s room isn’t absolute. Here are some of the basics you need to know:

  • Families must purchase the camera and monitor themselves
  • Families must pay for the internet service and work with the facility for installation
  • Video footage will belong jointly to the nursing home and the family
  • Video footage cannot be released to anybody buy law enforcement or investigating agencies with the consent of both the patient’s family and the nursing home
  • A patient’s roommate must give consent to the installation, and can limit the scope of the recording (where the camera can be placed, what audio can be recorded)

Without a doubt, nursing home neglect and abuse is a problem in this country, and recent events haven’t made it easier for people to keep track of what is happening with their loved ones. Anything that you can do to protect your loved one is worth investigating.

If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, take immediate action to protect them and preserve their legal rights.