California is no exception to the explosion of nursing home abuses in recent years. Families and local nursing home officials across the country are brainstorming ways to catch abuse nursing home professionals.
One of the easiest ways to monitor nursing home abuse is to secretly install cameras in the room of a patient. Under existing California law, cameras can be used to monitor to patients only in common areas, including hall ways, dining rooms and common space locations.
The state of California has denied the use of cameras to monitor residents in private rooms. The California Department of Social Services (DSS) is trying to balance concern for a nursing home residents right to privacy with the need to identify abuse.
There are proposed guidelines that will allow the use of cameras in residents rooms under some limited circumstances. Officials at DSS anticipate introducing the guidelines in the spring of 2015.
Proponents of the cameras in private rooms argue that staff and caretakers who know they are watching are less likely to commit abusive or neglectful acts.
In other states, the use of cameras in nursing homes is accepted. In states such as Oklahoma, jury verdicts have been handed down in nursing home abuse cases where camera evidence was used to demonstrate theft and physical abuse.
In one such recent case in Oklahoma, a jury awarded families of an abused patient who later died at Quail Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, $1.2 million after a video showing serious physical abuse surfaced.
Nursing homes have an obligation to proactively stop the abuse of their patients. They should not be allowed to hide behind lack of knowledge. If cameras are available in patients rooms and they are periodically reviewed, abuse can be discovered and quickly remedied before a patient suffers serious harm or is killed.
At Arnold Law Firm, our Sacramento nursing home abuse lawyers have helped Sacramento County residents hold negligent nursing home providers accountable for abuse.
If you suspect that someone you love is being abused, contact our Sacramento personal injury law firm today.
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