The Telegraph, a British newspaper, recently ran an article by author, Max Pemberton, in which Pemberton stated that cameras (also known as “Granny cams”) are needed in nursing homes and care facilities to end elder abuse. We wrote in 2008 that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo increased the number of hidden cameras in nursing homes after cases of abuse came to light.
We have seen time and time again that some people who care for some of the most vulnerable among us are guilty of elder abuse in the form of physical abuse, neglect and mental torture. Often the abuse of the elderly and vulnerable goes undetected because the victims often cannot advocate for themselves.
One infamous case of elder abuse in this country was when six nursing home assistants at an Albert Lea nursing home were criminally charged with poking, groping and taunting the elderly patients they were supposed to care for. Two young women, 18 and 19 years of age, as well as four juveniles were charged in the case.
In 2012, Pennsylvania woman suspected that her mother was being abused in a nursing home and, after installing a hidden camera, found that her mother was in fact being abused.
In the U.K., just few days ago, two women were secretly filmed in Greater Manchester with “slapping, jabbing and taunting” a man with brain-damage whom they were supposed to be caring for. The pair were also seen hurling verbal abuse and demeaning the man.
The man in this case was not elderly. His parents were concerned about his welfare so they secretly installed a camera and caught the abuse on video tape which brought the abuse to light.
The Telegraph article states that often inspections of care facilities are only a snapshot of what is truly happening at a nursing home. Often, family members are fooled that their loved ones are being well cared for but only with video cameras do they find out the truth. Says Pemberton:
It’s a sorry state of affairs when we have to put CCTV cameras in the rooms of all vulnerable people being cared for, but I can’t think of another way of clamping down on abuse and neglect once and for all.
One of the biggest deterrents to nursing home abuse is regular visits since abusers often do not abuse a resident who is visited regularly.
If you notice that your loved one has signs of physical abuse or neglect or emotional abuse, you can report your fears to the nursing home administrator or adult protective services.
If your loved one has been seriously injured, you may seek the counsel of Bellevue nursing home attorney, Herbert G. Farber. Mr. Faber has been representing nursing home abuse victims and their families for more than 30 years. Contact him for a free and confidential case consultation.