Momentum grows for in-room cameras at nursing homes

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Under a measure advancing in the Louisiana statehouse, families would be able to install video cameras in loved ones' nursing home rooms.

Rep. Helena Moreno (D-New Orleans) said her proposal would offer peace of mind to family members monitoring a parent or grandparent while also ensuring residents' safety.

During a hearing last week, Louisiana resident Lucie Titus testified about finding her mother with a black eye and severe back pain that the Alzheimer's patient couldn't explain.

Staff at the Slidell nursing home where she lived also couldn't explain what had happened, but they refused Titus' request to install a video camera system in her mother's room, the Associated Press reported.

Titus filed a lawsuit to pursue video monitoring, but her 92-year-old mother died before the issue was resolved.

Nursing home owners opposed the current legislation allowing families to install cameras at their own cost. But the House Health and Welfare Committee voted 9-1 March 28 to send House Bill 281 to the House floor for debate.

Under the legislation, nursing homes would be prohibited from denying entrance or retaliating against residents who opt for monitoring devices.

Mark Berger, executive director of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association, also spoke at the committee hearing, citing concerns about “patient privacy and the ease of hackers to access these web feeds.”

As of 2017, five other states had nursing home camera laws, with additional rules for assisted living in two.