Keeping A Watchful Eye on Nursing Homes

Date: December 15, 2014

A New York Times article from October of this year brought up the controversial issue of allowing family members to place cameras in their loved ones rooms in a nursing home facility. Placing cameras in a loved one’s room would allow the family members to track and monitor their loved one’s care when they are unable to be there or feel something suspicions is occurring.

This new battle between family members and the nursing home facilities is rooted in the rights of privacy in the HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Nursing home facilities claim that cameras out in the rooms would violate the rights and privacy of the patients.

In the media there have been many nursing home abuse cases that have been brought to attention because of hidden cameras out in the patients room. These cameras in fact may have prevented further damage from happening to that patient and to others in that facility. From another New York Times article from last November tells the story of Eryetha Mayberry. Eryetha’s family when suspicious of the care their loved one was being given at a Oklahoma nursing home  became shocked at the abuse and torments that Eryetha experienced. From the article, it was reported that the hidden camera revealed 96 year old Eryetha was hit on the head and latex gloves were stuffed in her mouth. After the death my Eryetha Mayberry shortly after these abuses, the family took action which helped contribute to the state of Oklahoma making legislation to permit cameras in the rooms of patients in nursing home facilities.

Several months after the shocking case of Eryetha, Cindy King is taking action to protect her mother from similar abuses. Cindy’s mother while in the emergency room for an unusual blood result told her daughter of a nursing home aid elbowing her in the chest. Cindy King as well as Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan are taking steps to make legislation to allow cameras in the rooms of nursing home residents.


The proposed legislation would only allow hidden cameras in the room with the patients and the possible roommate’s consent. These cameras would be owned and operated by the family member and would not be under any control of the nursing home facility.


Despite nursing homes arguing against this with the HIPAA Act  it seems that cameras in nursing home rooms can contribute to the prevention and restrict nursing home abuse from happening to loved ones. In the proposed legislation, it also seems that with the permission of the patients and other parties involved, the camera could become more beneficial to the prevention of nursing home abuse.

The information from the following blog can be found in the links below:‑nursing‑homes‑eyes‑that‑never‑turn‑away/?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7B%222%22%3A%22RI%3A17%22%7D‑eye‑in‑nursing‑homes/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r

Sean McDonough
Upon graduation from law school, he entered the private practice of law with Dougherty, Leventhal & Price. He has been a partner with the firm since 1993. Over the years, Sean has concentrated his practice in the areas of personal injury litigation; he has also represented governmental entities and officials in federal civil rights and employment lawsuits. Sean also works on many of DLP's Nursing Home Abuse cases.