Debate is raging in much of the country over the use of surveillance videos or hidden cameras in nursing homes. Advocates argue that the cameras can be vitally important in insuring that our most vulnerable citizens receive the care and compassion that they need while they reside in a nursing home and, further, that criminal employees will be held liable if they act against the best interests of a patient. Simultaneously, many nursing home owners and others in the industry have raised concerns about the practice, often couching their dislike for the cameras in others terms, like claiming that the cameras may raise privacy concerns for the patients.
Illinois is one of many states that is currently considering legislation in this area. At present, a bill passed by both state houses awaits the governor’s signature to become law and, if signed, will enable the family members of nursing home patients to place cameras in their loved one’s rooms. This measure has enjoyed wide-spread support among many in the state, including the attorney general, and is coming at a critical time for nursing home care.
Countless facilities across the nation currently have a wait list for prospective residents to enter their homes. But the population of the country is aging and in coming years, the demand placed upon these homes is expected to explode, further distressing an already challenged system that deals daily with overcrowding and too few resources. Experts believe that this is a dangerous situation that is likely to lead to an increase in nursing home abuse and neglect incidents, many of which will leave patients injured or even killed as a result.
Now, another incident that came to light using a hidden camera is making waves across the country and intensifying the discussion about how best to eliminate abusive events before they ever occur in nursing homes.
Police in Minnesota confirm that the family members of two nursing home patients became suspicious of the care their loved ones received when their loved ones began showing signs of abuse, including bruising and scratches on their bodies. Those family members installed hidden cameras in their loved one’s rooms in accordance with applicable laws in the state and allegedly captured two employees engaged in abusive behaviors. At least two residents were assaulted, according to police, who arrested the two nursing assistants caught on film and who may be facing criminal charges.
Authorities declined to release the footage that was turned over to them by the concerned family members or to describe in detail what happened on the tape but they have stated that the conduct was inappropriate and abusive. In response, both employees have been fired and another nine nursing assistants reportedly have been suspended for allegedly knowing about the abuse and failing to report or stop it.
Many people do not realize that there are laws in Illinois, including in Chicago, that are designed to protect victims of nursing home abuse by allowing them to seek relief for their damages. When in doubt, speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize what options you and/or your loved ones may possess and whether a claim is possible in your case.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., our firm is comprised exclusively of attorneys who believe in victims’ rights and who fight for those rights every day. In our history, we have helped numerous victims of nursing home neglect and their families seek and obtain financial compensation for their injuries and we have fought for the best possible outcome in every single case we handled. If you suspect wrongdoing in a nursing home or other skilled care facility, call us today toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and let us help you.
We offer a free case consultation without obligation to those who call us and we have an attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call. If we represent you or your loved one in a case, we will advance all case-related expenses and we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we want to help you by fighting for what is right. Call us now and let us get to work so that your family can move forward and obtain the relief it deserves.
Prior Blog Entry:
Hidden Camera Captures Assault of Nursing Home Patient by Employee, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published June 22, 2015.
Hidden camera captures abuse at nursing home; two arrested, by Chris Serres, Star Tribune, published July 15, 2015.