Cameras in nursing homes would protect state's elderly

BY JIM KILLACKEY Published: November 29, 2012
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Some contend that making cameras mandatory would require nursing home managers to spend money on video monitoring that could be more effectively spent to provide better wages, benefits and training for nursing home workers. Then, long-term-care providers wouldn't have to worry as much about cameras, said Mary Brinkley, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.

Rebecca A. Moore, head of the state nursing home association, stresses that protecting the privacy of patients always must be highly considered since a great deal of intimate care takes places at the patient's bedside.

Where to place video cameras is debated. Some suggest common areas such as hallways, meal areas, activity areas, even kitchen areas. Others say there should be surveillance cameras on the outside doors going into and exiting shower rooms. Questions also remain concerning who should pay for surveillance; who would operate the video cameras; along with who would monitor the video; who would report problems; and who would have access to the video tapes.

Texas lawmakers found a way to protect their weakest and most vulnerable citizens. Oklahoma lawmakers should do the same.

Killackey is a member of the Oklahoma Council on Aging.

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