I’m concerned about the care my mother is being given in a nursing home. I can’t prove anything, but I’m very worried. Can I put a surveillance camera in my mother’s nursing home room?
It’s natural to worry about the care your mother is being given in her nursing home, give all the stories we see daily in the news. Mothers of young children often install a hidden camera in their home to observe the caregiver, called a ‘Nanny Cam.’ In fact, using a so-called ‘Granny Cam’ to observe your mother’s care in a nursing home is the same principle, with one significant difference: the nursing home is not your property, it is owned and controlled by someone else.
Prior to recording anyone, it is important to determine whether your use of a camera and audio recording equipment would violate the Illinois Eavesdropping Act which is among the strictest in the country.
The use of a Granny Cam can be considered a privacy violation by the nursing home, the caregivers and even your mother if you are doing it without her consent. Six states have passed laws permitting family members to install a surveillance camera in a nursing home if the resident and the resident’s roommate have agreed:
In Illinois, the use of surveillance cameras in nursing homes became legal in 2016 under the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Facilities Act to protect the elderly and ill from abuse. However, you must strictly comply with the law. In addition, you should determine whether you are violating the Illinois Eavesdropping Act.
Even though your state may allow the use of Granny Cam’s, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to be sure your Granny Cam is following all regulations.
Protecting your elderly mother in a nursing home is important for her safety and your peace of mind. Consulting with an elder law attorney is a good idea to make sure your measures to protect your mother are legal and don’t cause additional issues. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at (630) 382-8069.