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Cameras may soon be allowed in rooms of Illinois nursing home residents

A new bill would make it legal for nursing home residents in Illinois to have camera monitoring systems installed in their rooms.

Nursing home abuse is a prevalent problem in Illinois and throughout the country. According to the American Psychological Association, it is estimated that 4 million older Americans are abused in some manner every year. To reduce the number of elderly people who are victims of nursing home abuse, a recently proposed bill in Illinois would allow camera monitoring systems in the rooms of assisted living patients, states the Chicago Tribune.

Monitoring requirements

According to the Chicago Tribune, a version of this bill was first introduced in the fall of 2014. However, the proposal raised questions among advocates for the elderly related to consent and privacy. To account for these concerns, this bill:

  • Gives family members and legal guardians the ability to consent to the use of a monitoring system if their loved one is unable to provide it due to a mental condition
  • Requires a sign to be posted out of the main entrance of any room that is electronically monitored
  • Requires everyone living in a room to consent to the use of a camera system before one of these systems is installed

Nursing home patients who would like to equip their room with a monitoring system must pay for all of the expenses associated with it. However, this bill includes a $50,000 fund to provide monitoring systems to nursing home patients who want one, but cannot afford one. If this bill is enacted, it would go into effect in 2016.

The impact of nursing home abuse

When an abusive situation occurs in a nursing home and it is not detected by a family member or a camera monitoring system, elderly residents may experience severe harm. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elderly people who are abused have a 300 percent higher risk of death than those who are not the victims of abuse. Additionally, research has discovered that abused elderly people have lower levels of perceived self-worth and higher levels of psychological distress than those who are not abused.

Elderly people who are abused are also more likely to have additional health problems. These issues may include joint problems, chronic pain, high blood pressure, bone or joint problems and heart problems.

Turn to an attorney

Not only is elder abuse associated with many negative effects for Illinois nursing home residents, but those in an abusive situation may find that their quality of life is reduced. If you or one of your loved ones was mistreated in a nursing home, reach out to an attorney to determine what legal steps you should take next.

Keywords: nursing home, elder, abuse

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