If you have to make the difficult decision to place your elderly loved one in a California nursing home, you may be concerned about the level of safety and care your family member will receive while there. One way you may wish to ensure that he or she is treated properly is by placing a camera in his or her private rooms. New changes to the guidelines governing the use of cameras in these facilities may finally give you and other families in similar circumstances around the state the chance to do so.
According to the new regulations, the nursing home is responsible for applying to the California Department of Social Services to allow the use of cameras in your loved one’s rooms. The home must provide the CDSS with a waiver form detailing which regulation sections the patient is choosing to waive. It must also provide an updated Plan of Operation, describing the video surveillance and outlining how the residents’ privacy and confidentiality will be protected.
If the nursing home does not allow these cameras, you must either accept the absence of video surveillance, appeal to the administrators of the home, or move your patient to a nursing home that does allow it. Even if the facility chooses to allow the surveillance it must abide by all rules and guidelines the CDSS outlines for camera use, or your right to use the devices may be withdrawn.
Your loved one’s nursing home will only be allowed to place a camera in his or her rooms after both you, as a family member, and the patient have given your consent for the nursing home to do so. You can do this by requesting to sign a waiver of the right to privacy. The Community Care Licensing Division of the CDSS must approve your waiver before any cameras may be placed within private patient areas. The nursing home must then maintain all video recordings of your elderly loved one in accordance with existing privacy laws. Please note that this information is for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as legal advice.