Nursing home abuse is more prevalent than many Americans realize. In fact, an estimated 2 million adults over the age of 65-years-old have been mistreated, exploited or injured by a caregiver. Even worse, only 20% of all cases of neglect or abuse are ever reported. Suspecting that a loved one is being abused by trusted caregivers is devastating, and many families worry about what they can do stop the abuse and hold abusive caregivers responsible. Thanks to modern technology, however, hidden cameras are now being used to help gather evidence and put an end to the abuse.
In May 2017, New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced that the state would loan hidden cameras to any New Jersey family who suspects nursing home abuse. The cameras, which are loaned out for 30 days, are disguised as everyday items, which makes them difficult to detect. In order to receive one of these cameras, New Jersey residents must supply appropriate documentation that they’re a legal representative of the resident and agree not to film other residents or roommates. Since many New Jersey long-term care facilities prohibit the filming of residents, family members who receive a camera must understand their liabilities if they violate any part of the admission agreement.
Privacy vs Safety Concerns
The CEO of the Health Care Association of New Jersey is against using these types of recording devices in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Instead of using hidden cameras, he believes that families and facilities should come together to “conduct proper investigations and address complaints head-on.”
One of his main objections centers around privacy and consent. There is an expectation and a right to privacy, both for residents, as well as their roommates. Another point of contention centers around the limitations of private surveillance cameras. Since these types of cameras are usually stationary and unable to catch abuse that occurs outside of the camera’s range, it’s difficult to conclusively prove that abuse is not occuring.
Should You Install a Hidden Camera?
Surveillance in long-term care resident rooms is a sensitive subject because of the private information that could be captured on video. Roommates and other family members could be filmed without their consent. Sensitive medical information could also be recorded and directly violate HIPPA laws.
Before you consider installing a hidden camera in your loved one’s room, it is important to speak to an experienced New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer first. Your lawyer will review all of your legal options so that you can make a decision that is for you and your family.
New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers You Can Trust
If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you need an experienced and aggressive law firm in your corner. While using a hidden camera may be within your rights, it may not be your best option. The New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. can help you protect your loved one from further abuse, as well as hold the negligent institution and caregiver responsible for their actions. To learn more about your legal rights, contact us today at (856) 238-5724 to schedule a free consultation.