In the wake of a horrific incident of nursing home abuse that led to the death of 89-year-old veteran who begged for medical help while he was repeatedly mistreated or ignored, the Georgia Supreme Court decided that a hidden camera that captured some of the events could be used in the murder trial against some of his caregivers.
That ruling opened the door to legislation changes in the state that would establish some specific rules about “Granny-cams” in nursing homes. While the legislation has passed the Georgia House of Representatives and moved to the state senate, critics say it could actually do more harm than good.
How could a granny-cam in a nursing home be a bad thing?
Essentially, the new legislation would require all granny-cams to be out in the open, so that nursing home workers would be aware that they are being filmed.
That’s a bad idea, according to those who oppose the legislation for several reasons:
- A visible camera may encourage a caregiver to be on their best behavior where the camera is running — but it wouldn’t capture what they do (or didn’t do) when they’re out of the camera’s range.
- Nursing homes would be allowed to disable any unauthorized hidden cameras they find, which limits the ability of family members to protect their loved ones.
- The legislation makes no provision for criminal penalties for tampering with any visible cameras — which means a caregiver could basically throw a towel over one if they felt like it without fear of prosecution.
That’s why the bill has received some major opposition from advocates who say it is far too ill-considered and toothless to be useful in preventing nursing home abuses.
What can you do if your loved one was victimized in a nursing home?
The only way to stop nursing home neglect and abuse is to hold facilities accountable. Speak with an experienced advocate today about your situation.