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Can I Put a Camera in a Nursing Home Room?

The creation of video cameras for recording and surveilling has changed the world. They allow us to capture life’s most precious moments and enable intelligent security measures in homes, schools, airports, and businesses. Technology like cell phones and webcams have helped nursing home residents keep in touch with family members. Unfortunately, these measures often aren’t enough and have led to countless families questioning if they can install a camera in their loved one’s nursing home room.

Before installing a camera in your loved one’s nursing home room, you should be aware of its permissibility and applicable laws in New York. Is it legal to put a camera in a nursing home room? The following information will discuss important elements to be considered about the use of cameras in nursing homes.

Why Families Want Cameras in Nursing Home Rooms

With a loved one living in a nursing home, many families have various concerns. This is particularly true because they’re unable to visit or speak to their loved ones daily. Whether it’s to watch how their loved one is being cared for or to simply monitor their health, families want to know that their family members are doing okay.

Considering the high rate of abuse and neglect among nursing home residents, families are worried about whether their loved ones are being cared for and attended to at all times. Putting cameras inside a loved one’s nursing home room allows families to observe instances of abuse or mistreatment and can serve as powerful evidence in nursing home abuse cases. However, the installment of cameras raises legal and privacy implications.

Legal Issues with Putting Cameras in Nursing Home Rooms

The problem with putting cameras in nursing home rooms has to do with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and several other federal and state privacy laws. HIPAA is intended to protect residents’ information and keep health records confidential. Nursing homes argue that allowing video cameras inside rooms raises privacy concerns for residents and caretakers.

Although HIPAA doesn’t explicitly forbid the use of cameras, some say that cameras breach the privacy of residents or their roommates who may not want to be taped while receiving private care, such as when changing or bathing. New York state laws are incredibly vague around video cameras; however, New York wiretapping laws require one-party consent. Therefore, hidden cameras may get you into trouble without the resident’s, roommate’s, and nursing home’s consent.

States That Permit the Use of Cameras in Nursing Home Rooms

Depending on the nursing home facility, some may either ban or permit the use of cameras. Eight states—Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Washington—have established laws permitting the installation of cameras. Since New York has no legislation pertaining to video cameras, it’s generally up to a nursing home’s discretion to allow them or not.

Some nursing homes may have restrictions on the types of recording devices they allow, as well as when they can be on and whether consent is required. Due to the large gray area between what’s legal and what’s not, it’d be in your best interest to speak to an attorney who understands nursing home laws for advice about obtaining permission to record video footage.

Seek Justice for Nursing Home Residents in New York City

While the installation of cameras in nursing home rooms is still a topic of considerable debate, one subject not up for discussion is nursing home abuse and neglect. Residents who receive inadequate care may endure life-altering injuries or death. In a setting where care is promised, residents and their families often feel betrayed and appalled by the mistreatment experienced. If you suspect a loved one is abused or neglected in their nursing home, act fast to ensure evidence is conserved.

Reach out to the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at Dalli & Marino, LLP, to learn how to protect your loved one’s rights and seek justice for wrongdoing and negligence. With over 24 years committed to providing honest legal representation for nursing home residents in New York City, you can trust that our team has the reputation, resources, and expertise to obtain the highest amount of compensation possible. Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling (888) 465-8790 or completing a contact form.

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