Michigan may finally allow video cameras inside the rooms of nursing home residents three years after the bill was first introduced. Republican Sen. Jim Runestad introduced the bill three years ago. He says the legislation is gaining traction now because of COVID-19. This is necessary because families cannot visit loved ones.
“For so many of these families, particularly with the pandemic, they can’t even get in to see their family members; they can’t touch them, hold them, hug them to ensure they are getting the best care possible. This is something that’s long overdue.”
“It would require the nursing homes to allow the family to pay to have these installed, and much of the privacy policies would be implemented by nursing homes,” Runestad explained.
Right now, nursing home administrators prevent residents from setting up a camera in their room. This measure would give residents and their families, or power of attorney, a choice. Signs posted in the room would protect privacy. Family members would monitor the camera.
“I don’t know how anyone can stand in the way of a reasonable piece of legislation like this, but it has been an enormous amount of work to get it this far. There’s been a lot of resistance,” Sen. Runestad said.
Senator Runestad feels the transparency is vital.
“When I talk to senior centers and senior groups I have never heard anything that gets them more animated, more excited, coming out of their chair saying, ‘How do we ensure that this get passed?’ Because they know that without some kind of monitoring they are absolutely at the mercy of the person that’s in front of them.”