Nursing Homes and "Nanny Cams"
Nursing Homes are about the last places anyone wants to be, but about 1.6 million people now live in some type of nursing facility in the United States. Believe it or not, 30 years from now, the number is expected to be a whopping 5 million.
As necessary as these facilities are, many patients have been placed at risk; according to government figures, one out of four nursing homes every year is cited for causing death or serious injury to a resident.
Eighty-three percent of elderly Americans have been interviewed and most everyone said they would stay in their homes until the end if they could. Thirty percent say they’d rather die than go into a nursing home. And their fears may be well founded. As there are a rising number of abuses in nursing homes, due to fact that many workers hired aren’t properly screened. Indeed across the nation, dangerous nursing home workers are not being detected, and elderly people certainly aren’t being protected.
As many as 33 states do some sort of background check on a cross-section of nursing home workers but none require a national background check.
Since many nursing home residents have limited abilities to communicate, identifying potential abuse requires careful monitoring. Looking for the signs of nursing home abuse requires frequent visits to the nursing home or assisted living facility but of the people working there will know if you are watching trying to catch them abusing your parent or friend.
A nanny cam or "granny cam" could be the ideal covert solution to record the activities going on day to day and to let you know exactly how your loved one is being treated. And a nanny cam could be your best chance for recording and documenting physical abuse of your loved one. But the inherent problem with the traditional hidden cameras is that they need an external recorder like a DVR or Time Lapse VCR to be connected to it to record the insidious events. Obviously, this isn’t possible in a nursing home or other caregiver location. The newer camera/dvr all in one combinations are much more viable.
These are some steps to follow if you suspect that your loved one is being abused.
• Visit frequently. To assess the care provided, vary your visits to different times of the day and evening.
• Consider acquiring a wireless nanny cam/dvr combination unit that will record all covert video surveillance. Motion activated real time video or high-resolution “still shots” are recorded on a tiny Secure Digital (SD) card, housed in a hidden compartment. All recordings are time/date stamped for legal reference, if necessary. The SD card, which is used to record the covert video, is removable from the unit and can be played directly on your PC. No additional software needed.
• Talk to nurses and aides about your concerns.
• Talk to the Director of Nurses, Social Worker and Administrator.
• Talk to the doctor.
• Call your state survey agency. In each state there is a division of the Department of Health which deals with oversight of nursing homes and enforcement of nursing home regulations. This agency conducts yearly surveys of each nursing home and also investigates complaints filed by family members. Find out the specific state licensing agency to contact from your nursing home. They are required to provide this information to you when your place a resident in the nursing home. Or you can access your state's National Long Term Care Ombudsman Organization via the internet.
• If you believe that your family member may be a victim of any form of abuse or neglect by the nursing home, you can and should file a complaint with the state Licensing and Certification Division. They are required to investigate your complaint. If the Licensing and Certification division substantiates your complaint, they have the authority to issue a citation against the facility, impose a fine, and require corrective action.