Installing Surveillance Cameras
Using Cameras to Monitor Care
California Regulations For Camera Installation
If you have to make the difficult decision to place your elderly loved one in a California nursing home, you may be concerned about the level of safety and care your family member will receive while there. One way you may wish to ensure that he or she is treated properly is by placing a camera in his or her private rooms. According to California regulations, the nursing home is responsible for applying to the California Department of Social Services to allow the use of cameras in your loved one’s rooms. The home must provide the CDSS with a waiver form detailing which regulation sections the patient is choosing to waive. It must also provide an updated Plan of Operation, describing the video surveillance and outlining how the residents’ privacy and confidentiality will be protected. Further details regarding camera installation are set forth below. 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. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS.
California Regulations Regarding Surveillance Cameras
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:
- 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 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;
- Indication of sexual assault, rape, or battery;
- Elopement or wandering off;
- Rapid weight loss;
- 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.
If you or a loved one been the victim of nursing home abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS.
 You can read the entire regulation here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2271047-office-functions-surveillance-guidelines.html