Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill last week that would allow nursing home and assisted living facility residents to put video recording devices in their rooms.
“There are approximately 16,000 cases of Elder Abuse reported every year in Ohio,” said Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland). “Personally, I find this number staggering! It is about time someone stood up and fought for eldercare. We need to hold those who take care of our loved ones accountable for their actions.”
Sen Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), who also proposed this bill with Brent, said this piece of legislation was brought to her attention by a constituent who discovered via a hidden video camera that his mother was being abused in a nursing home.
“Having an aging parent in a nursing home is already a stressful experience, but this bill could help ease some of those concerns,” she said.
The Ohio Health Care Association, who represents over 1000 assisted living communities told WBNS that it doesn’t oppose this proposed law, but does have privacy concerns.
“Such as the rights of patients — both the patient being surveilled and other patients — to their personal privacy and dignity. We at the Ohio Health Care Association stand willing to work with interested legislators to ensure that any legislation in this area protect all of the interests and rights that would be affected,” says Spokesperson Pete Van Runkle.
Under current law, video recording devices can be set up in a patient’s room only if it’s approved by the facility, WBNS reports.
Although the reported number of people who experience elderly abuse in the Buckeye state is 16,000; it could be much higher. The National Institute of Health says that 1 out of 14 elderly abuse incidents is reported to law enforcement.
Last year, Ohio law expanded the number of people that must report suspicions of elderly abuse. In 2018, the number of reported incidents was 14,597; however, this year reported incidents have gone up to 29,824, according to WSLS.
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