If you have someone that you care about enter into a nursing home, it is important that you feel confident that he or she is going to be safe and cared for. When nursing home abuse does happen, you want to draw attention to it to force a change. However, highlighting the abuse that occurs in a nursing home might be difficult, unless you are able to document it somehow.
A catalyst for change
What happened last year was an example why change is necessary. Erytha Mayberry – a 96-year-old woman – was treated roughly by a nursing home employee who not only pushed her, but also shoved gloves in her mouth. Many of the family members of elderly residents who suffer abuse claim that the nursing home obstructs any investigation, refusing to acknowledge bad behavior on a part of their staff.
A new Senate Bill that helps
Before the passing of Oklahoma Senate Bill 587, a nursing home was the sole party responsible for deciding whether they wanted to use cameras in their rooms. As you might understand, this was unsatisfactory to those who wanted to ensure that their loved ones received the quality treatment they deserve.
With the introduction of Senate Bill 587, Approved by the Governor of Oklahoma on 05/06/2013, the nursing homes residents now have the option to install cameras themselves. Even if the individual nursing homes have a contrasting policy, the Oklahoma senate’s new bill states that residents have the option to install a camera if so desired.
On the other hand, the bill also aims to safeguard the privacy rights of those residents who share a room. Before it is possible to introduce surveillance, the nursing homes need to have consent of all residents in a room. If the resident of a shared room decides he or she does not want to be a part of video monitoring, the nursing homes now have to accommodate a room change.
Why this matters
The benefit here should be obvious, in the event that abuse and neglect do occur, it is now possible for nursing home residents and their families to be properly compensated. They can ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions. It appeared that nursing homes employees felt they could commit whatever action they wanted, especially because it is difficult to prove abuse in a civil case.
Thanks to the hidden security surveillance, it is easier to get evidence for one side or the other. What previously might have amounted to “he said – she said” can now be determined just by watching the tape. This is not something that is only going to benefit those Oklahoma residents that are currently suffering through nursing home abuse. It will likely reduce the overall number of abuse cases throughout the state as well because of the fear of detection. That should be something everyone can get behind.