Facing the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult challenge requiring vigilance. What happens when family is not around, especially with the care of profoundly ill or incapacitated patients? Beginning on November 1, 2013, Oklahoma families have the additional oversight of videotaping at the facility to guarantee quality of care.
The “Protect Our Loved Ones Act” requires nursing home administrators to permit videotaping upon request.
Before the law goes into effect, senior advocates are working with surveillance companies to find affordable ways to provide security cameras requested by families for their nursing home residents. Typically camera systems that observe and record activities are expensive, costing somewhere between $3,000 to $12,000, with the price dependent on the size and configuration of the building, the number of cameras installed and digital storage capacity. The law also makes it a criminal offense to tamper with a surveillance camera.
Oklahoma joins Texas, New Mexico, Maryland and Virginia in adopting these electronic protections for vulnerable nursing home patients.
Nursing home providers also benefit from camera surveillance. These cameras will:
- Enhance the security of patients, especially those who have a tendency to wander
- Verify that proper care is being administered
- Improve the quality of care by identifying substandard practices
- Help deter abuse and neglect
Nursing home providers might decide to market camera surveillance as an enhancement of care.
Of course, cameras should not be permitted in areas where residents may have a heightened expectation of privacy, such as bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.
Oklahoma residents deserve access to justice, using the laws and courts to secure their rights and privileges of citizenship. If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in what is meant to be a safe environment, contact Stipe Law Firm as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys can help protect your family. Contact us today!