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Feb 25, 2020 by |

California and Alameda County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney: Hidden Cameras Catch Nursing Home Abuse

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Shocking Abuse Caught on Camera

Using Surveillance Cameras to Monitor Care

More than 400,000 Californians live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Their loved ones watch stories of neglect, abuse, and physical assault of nursing home residents on the news, and of course want to protect their senior from any mistreatment.  Some families have begun using in-room cameras to monitor their loved one’s care.  In one recently reported case[1], a camera caught horrendous physical and verbal abuse of an 86-year-old patient the day after the camera started rolling; a second incident of abuse was caught on film the very next day. When the family presented the video to the nursing home administrator, both aides caught on the film were fired.  Our lawyers represent victims of nursing home abuse and believe any legal measure to hold the owners, administrators and staff accountable for any injuries is justified; victims are entitled to all the damages provided by California law including awards of attorneys’ fees and costs for brining your lawsuit in certain circumstances. If you or someone you know is a victim of nursing home abuse, call the attorneys at Evans Law Firm today at 415-441-8669.

Surveillance Cameras in California

You may install a camera in a nursing home resident’s room in California provided you follow certain steps established by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the patient consents to the camera. See CDSS Evaluator Guideline § 2-5800 (Guidelines for Use of Video Surveillance).  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 give your consent for the nursing home to do so. It is important that the resident understand that you want to install a camera for their protection and security and, if they have the capacity, that they consent to the camera in their room. If the senior does not have capacity, obtain consent from their Conservator or Agent under a Power of Attorney. The Community Care Licensing Division of the CDSS must approve your consents and 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. See Cal. Dept. of Soc. Serv. Guidelines 2-5800 et seq.

Cameras No Substitutes for Visits

Cameras presumably act as a deterrent to abuse, but a surveillance camera is not a substitute for family involvement and personal monitoring of care. Residents and family members should continue to be as involved as they can be in all aspects of the resident’s life. It is possible that a resident could be treated unfairly outside of his/her room and this may not be recorded on the surveillance camera.  With or without a camera, visit your loved one as often as you can and look for signs of abuse or neglect:

  • Bedsores/pressure ulcers or other poor skin conditions;
  • Bruises and scratch marks;
  • Falls;
  • Indication of sexual assault, rape, or battery;
  • Overmedication;
  • Elopement or wandering off;
  • Rapid weight loss;
  • Dehydration;
  • Abnormal or withdrawn behavior and unusual silence;
  • Prolonged sleep or drowsiness;
  • Agitation especially when certain caregivers are present;
  • Reluctance to speak when staff is nearby;
  • Unsanitary and unclean conditions;
  • Fear of being touched.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one been the victim of nursing home abuse in Alameda County or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities, securities fraud and FINRA arbitrations.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way.

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