Can nursing home abuse in Alabama be prevented with cameras?

If you have a loved one with a dementia-related disease in Walker, Alabama, often a nursing home is your only option for getting him or her the round-the-clock care necessary. Whether you are able to spend time there on a daily basis or your visits are limited by distance, you need to be able to know that the nursing home staff is maintaining the quality of care federal law mandates. The inability to communicate that goes along with moderate to severe dementia can make it difficult for you to determine how well workers are performing their duties.

According to the New York Times, placing hidden cameras in family members’ rooms has become a popular tactic for catching nursing home staff neglecting or abusing residents. This practice is sanctioned in some states, and even recommended by many nonprofit groups. However, in Alabama you cannot hide a camera in a resident’s room, according information on state hidden camera statutes provided by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

If you are the power of attorney for a resident with dementia, you do have the right to place a camera in the room as long as doing so does not violate the facility policies. These often have stipulations such as requiring you to post a notice in the room that activities are being observed. The facility you have chosen may already have cameras monitoring halls, cafeterias and other common spaces. While this information provides an overview of issues with recording devices in nursing homes, it is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. 

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