Electronic Monitoring in Nursing Homes

June 15, 2015

When an individual places a family member into the care of a nursing home, he expects that the relative will be well-cared for. Unfortunately, there are situations in which the resident of the nursing home may suffer from various forms of abuse or neglect from the staff. Adults residing in nursing homes are often in need of constant care, since they are, in most cases, either in very poor health or are unable to protect themselves from harm.

While it may be unfeasible to have the family member live with the individual, thanks to technology, people can monitor the status of their loved ones while they are in a nursing home. Interestingly enough, states are divided on what is and isn’t allowed in homes as far as electronic monitoring is concerned. While South Carolina does not have any current laws regulating electronic monitoring in nursing homes, a Senate subcommittee has advanced Senate Bill 257 (S.257), which proposes to regulate the use of electronic monitoring in nursing homes. It is important to keep in mind, however, that this bill has not yet been enacted.

The Recent Bill

Under S.257, individuals would be able to make use of electronic monitoring to watch over residents living in a long-term care facility. In order to make use of electronic monitoring under S.257, however, there must be consent from:

  • the resident
  • the other residents of the room
  • the guardians or legal representatives of the other residents of the room.

While this may seem like a violation of privacy when there are other individuals living with the resident, S.257 provides for the protection of the other resident’s privacy by allowing them to have some say in how the electronic monitoring device will be used. Specifically, other individuals who live with the resident may condition their consent on the camera being pointed away from them, and may even restrict the use of sound recording devices.

Penalties for noncompliance

While S.257 outlines how a person may go about obtaining electronic monitoring for a resident of a nursing home or residential care facility, it is not without teeth. In addition to allowing electronic monitoring, the bill allows the court to impose appropriate sanctions or penalties on long-term care facilities that refuse to allow a resident’s request for electronic monitoring. In addition, courts may impose appropriate sanctions or penalties when a long-term care facility has retaliated against a resident requesting for electronic monitoring, by either removing the resident from the facility, or by refusing an individual to become a resident.

Benefits of electronic monitoring

Due to the leaps and bounds in technology over the past decade, it has become even easier to employ different methods of electronic monitoring in order to keep an eye on any loved ones who may be residents of a nursing home. In fact, electronic monitoring has been used in several cases to successfully detect incidents of elder abuse.

Contact an Attorney

Dealing with matters involving elder abuse can be heart-wrenching and stressful. Even though you might feel like there is nothing you can do, you can get help from an experienced attorney. Contact the David Aylor Law Offices today in order to speak with a dedicated, experienced attorney in Charleston, North Charleston or Walterboro.

 

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