Elder Abuse: More States Move towards Virginia’s Standard of Nursing Home Surveillance | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Many people have heard of a “nanny cam” but have you ever heard of a “granny cam?”  A “granny cam” involves the use of hidden cameras in a nursing home to catch bad guys neglecting or abusing the elderly. Virginia currently has guidelines for the use of hidden cameras which protect patient privacy yet expose staff (and sometimes other residents) who mistreat and abuse those in need of protection. Although Virginia and a handful of other states have adopted nursing home licensing regulations which cover video surveillance, most states have not passed specific legislation regarding nursing home surveillance.

Currently Illinois lawmakers are moving forward with their “Granny Cam” bill for nursing homes, but similar legislation in Missouri appears to be moving in the opposite direction.  One woman who lost her husband to elder abuse testified before the Missouri House Committee considering the bill.  She told the committee of instances where she found her husband, also an army veteran, in a sweltering room with the windows closed and signs of physical abuse. She believes that if there were a recording device in his room, it possibly could have saved his life.

The reality is that while many nursing home employees are kind individuals that truly do care about their patients, there’s no way to weed out the bad ones.  Low staffing levels, employees who are consistently overworked and undertrained are all factors that lead to trouble for the residents of nursing facilities.   When profitability is given precedence over patient care, elderly individuals often suffer the consequences. In some cases, seniors, who are already the most vulnerable group, are subjected to shocking physical and emotional abuse. If you believe someone you love may be the victim of such mistreatment, it’s important to take action immediately and reach out to an experienced Virginia nursing home abuse attorney

As Virginia (VA) elder abuse lawyers we often advise clients that if they suspect that an elderly loved one has been subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect, time is of the essence. It’s critical that you report the matter to the proper authorities right away; after all, the longer you wait the longer your loved one could be suffering.  It’s also important that you understand your legal options, to help with that, consider reading our free report on nursing home abuse and neglect which contains a rundown of steps you can take if you suspect a loved one has been abused by the staff at a nursing home.