WOUB reported that Ohio may be the next State to allow residents use cameras for safety and security. State Rep. Juanita Brent introduced a bill allowing residents of nursing facilities to use cameras in their rooms. The resident would post a sign on the door informing visitors they could be on camera. This is a great deterrence for abuse, neglect, and fraud.
Many people now have security cameras outside and inside their homes but Ohio law prohibits residents from protecting themselves. The bill is meant to increase safety and provide a sense of security for residents and their families.
“People like an extra level of protection, no matter if it protecting you from family members who visit you and like to pick up stuff or from that staffer.”
Ohio Health Care Association President Pete Van Runkle strengthened privacy protections for residents and their roommates. The lobbying group doesn’t oppose the legislation.
Meanwhile, in Georgia, Republican politicians blocked a bill allowing security cameras. The use of cameras in rooms of residents of long-term care facilities prevent neglect or abuse. Georgia common law allows video surveillance. However, a new bill with privacy protections and restrictions failed to pass into law. Some advocates for seniors oppose House Bill 605 because it prohibits its use as evidence in a civil case or administrative procedure.
House Bill 605 failed in the Georgia General Assembly. The lead sponsor, Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta), told the Senate committee that the legislation is “a compromise bill’’ that would promote open and transparent monitoring of a person’s care. “We want to prevent harm in the first place,’’ Cooper said. “I want to prevent bad care that leads to accidents.’’
Nancy Pitra of AARP Georgia said her organization for years has supported use of open and visible cameras in long-term care facilities. But AARP opposes the current bill, because it doesn’t contain strict penalties for staff who obstruct or otherwise tamper with cameras, and because the use of hidden cameras would have restrictions.