Are Hidden Cameras the Key to Stopping Elder Abuse in California Nursing Homes?

A disturbing report came from the New York Times recently, wherein the newspaper reported that the daughter of a 96 year resident of a nursing home in Oklahoma, placed a hidden camera in her mother’s room. She said she did so after noticing that items she had bought for her mother had gone missing.

What she caught on camera, was horrifying. Nursing aides were videotaped in the act of physical abuse, including stuffing latex gloves in her mother’s mouth, teasing her, and hitting her. In short, it was her daughter’s worst nightmare.

Much debate has been raised about the legality of using hidden cameras in nursing homes, with advocates claiming it is their right to see to it that their loved ones are being treated compassionately. Those questioning the use of hidden cameras cite violations of fellow patients’ privacy, and call into question whether the elderly suffering from diminished mental capacity are able to consent to the videotaping.

To date, only New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas grant explicit permission for families of residents in long term care facilities such as nursing homes, to utilize hidden cameras to monitor the treatment of their loved ones.

Elder abuse in California is both a criminal and civil offense. Criminal elder abuse describes the willful infliction of physical or emotional suffering on an elder. Civil elder abuse includes any physical or financial abuse, neglect or abandonment resulting in physical or mental harm. If you suspect that a friend, family member, or loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact an elder abuse attorney immediately. At Walton Law APC, we have years of experience providing caring, compassionate representation to victims of elder abuse and their families. Call (866) 338-7079 for a confidential consultation.