A new law in Minnesota will give families the legal ability to set up cameras in their loved one’s nursing home for monitoring. However, some say the law’s requirements are too onerous and invite retaliation. The Star Tribune reported on the new law.
Catching nursing home abuse is difficult, but surveillance cameras set up by families have proven to be a boon in finding abusers. However, the state law in Minnesota has been unclear about whether this was legal or not.
Now the state says that Minnesotans have the right to use electronic monitoring devices as long as they notify the facility and obtain consent from the residents. Families who have installed the devices say that they bring a lot of peace of mind about the care of their loved ones. They can see how they are getting treated and get alerts if something is the matter.
However, some seniors do not want to be monitored like this and some elder rights advocates are fighting on their behalf for stricter privacy measures. Elder abuse advocates say that the reporting requirements may discourage families from installing the devices, which are usually done as a last-ditch resort to catch someone in the act. There are also fears of retaliation.
It remains to be seen how this law, which is similar to one passed in Illinois, will affect the use of cameras and the rate of abuse cases.