The presence of surveillance cameras in nursing homes has been hotly contested across the nation, including in the state of Illinois. Some are in favor of the presence of cameras to provide an accurate recording of the care and conditions provided within a home while others object to the cameras, arguing that a constant recording of all activities is a significant invasion of privacy to residents and their roommates. While the debate rages on, some select states have already taken action to authorize the presence of these cameras.
Illinois is currently considering whether to enact state-wide legislation authorizing the presence of hidden surveillance cameras in individual patient rooms when the patient and/or the patient’s family consents. Additionally, if a nursing home resident has a roommate, that roommate must also consent to the camera’s presence. Advocates of this legislation believe that the cameras will decrease the incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect within the state of Illinois.
Two employees of a New York state nursing home have been charged with multiple counts of neglect after a hidden camera allegedly revealed a pattern of abuse against a 79-year-old resident. According to local officials in the Buffalo area, two certified nurse’s aides from a now-closed Skilled Nursing Facility, failed to follow protocol in their care of a 79-year-old woman who suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia. The resident reportedly was unable to provide any of her own care and relied entirely upon the employees of the facility for her needs.
The allegations against the former employees include the fact that they failed to use a lift during transfers and when one was used, only one employee worked the lift instead of the required two. During other care-related activities, the patient did not receive from the proper number of employees. The employees at issue are alleged to have falsified documents to comport with standard requirements and to cover the alleged neglect.
State officials reportedly launched an investigation into the incident, during which time the facility placed both nurses on leave. Eventually, the nurses were fired and the facility was closed in early 2013 when a new facility opened and replaced the one at issue. It is not clear whether other victims suffered from care at the facility or whether any other charges may be brought as the investigation continues.
It is troubling when abuse and neglect occurs in any context but it is particularly disturbing when the victim is elderly and vulnerable. In the case of nursing home abuse and neglect, the victims are often unable to express or convey the abuse they experience, meaning that these instances can go on for extended periods of time before ever being uncovered.
Further, family members may be unable to see nursing home residents on a regular basis which can make it harder to uncover the subtle signs of abuse. Consulting with an injury lawyer who handles nursing home neglect cases in Chicago and Illinois can help you understand whether your loved one has a valid claim if you suspect abuse.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., our legal team has experience representing numerous victims of nursing home neglect in the state of Illinois and we want to help you and your loved one as well. We offer a free case consultation toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we provide it 24 hours a day.
If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected while under the care of an Illinois nursing home, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us help you.
Prior Blog Entry:
Dozens of Abuse Charges Pending against 3 Nursing Home Employees, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published September 16, 2014.
Two aides at ECMC nursing home arrested on neglect charges, The Buffalo News, published September 23, 2014.