Around the country, cases of
elder abuse are increasing supported by the use of videotape evidence. This is because
family members are installing security cameras, often referred to as “granny
cams,” in the nursing home rooms of seniors in order to monitor
KCRA.com story earlier this year detailed the growing use of cameras to prevent
elder abuse in California. The story highlighted how the family of 73-year-old
woman was able to capture video of her being shaken in her wheelchair
by staff members at Fair Oaks Residential Elderly Care.
Although the technology certainly can give families a way to monitor their
loved one from a distance, senior advocates stress that the cameras cannot
catch everything. “They can’t pick up the cleanliness of that
home, the interactions necessarily outside of where that camera is,”
said Cheryl Simcox of Ombudsman Services of Northern California, a government
agency that advocates for proper senior care.
It is also important to note that the security cameras also raise some
legal concerns. In general, California law prohibits hidden cameras in
places where people can expect a reasonable amount of privacy, such as
bedrooms and locker rooms. In addition, the law bans all voice recordings
without the explicit consent of all parties.
Therefore, to avoid any potential liability, it is best to ask the permission
of a nursing home’s administrator before installing a “granny