More States Consider “Granny Cam” Laws for Resident Protection
A new article on an industry website called Senior Housing News reveals that a growing number of states across the country are considering legislation to allow what are commonly called “Granny Cams” in skilled nursing homes – and some of these new laws would expand camera monitoring to assisted living facilities and other types of senior housing.
Since Washington State is among the five that already have Granny Cam laws in place, this form of resident monitoring will quite possibly affect you or someone you love. Click here to read this timely article.
What is a Granny Cam? Simply put, it’s a camera installed at the request (and expense) of the family of a nursing home resident that monitors the type of care the resident is receiving. With new technology allowing more ways to track elder care, new state laws that regulate the practice are, in the words of the Senior Housing News article, “bringing privacy issues to a head.” Five states have such laws in place and two more are considering new laws that would, among other provisions, expand monitoring regulations beyond skilled nursing facilities.
The article reports that laws to allow and regulate video monitoring cameras have been prompted by family members seeking increased protection for their loved ones living within skilled nursing facilities. “Over the years,” says the article, “videos surfacing of elder abuse or thefts have influenced people to take protection into their own hands with camera monitoring.” Families of these residents have also demanded greater accountability when abuse does take place or is suspected.
In the five states that currently allow Granny Cams, cameras are only installed and used if residents, their families and their roommates want them. At least one of the states considering a new law, Utah, would prohibit skilled nursing facilities from retaliating in any way against a resident whose family requests camera monitoring – for example, by discharging them.
Who pays for the cameras, and the internet connection that allows the family to monitor care? According to Chicago elder care attorney Jason Lundy, it’s the resident and his or her family. “So far the laws are pretty universal that any recording is at the expense of the resident and family,” Lundy said. “They have to buy the camera, arrange for installation and maintenance. If it is a webcam that transmits over WiFi, then the family would have to contract with a provider to do the streaming.”
But apparently a growing number of families are pursuing installation of Granny Cams. “The process for families of residents is costly,” concludes the Senior Housing News article, “but some may feel more secure knowing there is an additional layer of monitoring for a loved one.”
There’s no doubt that security and peace of mind are vital by-products of a solid retirement plan. This includes not only housing choices and medical care but also your finances, your legal affairs and communication with your family. If you’ve longed to have a strong comprehensive plan in place but didn’t know how to get started, we have a suggestion: come to one of our free LifePlanning Seminars. We have helped thousands of people launch their retirement planning process, and we would welcome the opportunity to do the same for you. With your LifePlan in place, you’ll have a road map to guide you along the journey of a secure and rewarding retirement.
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(originally reported at www.seniorhousingnews.com)