Can Families Place a Camera in a Maryland Nursing Home?

With each passing year, more states are enacting laws that allow for the installation of cameras in nursing homes and other similar long-term care facilities. After all, sending our loved ones to nursing homes is never an easy endeavor. When we put our loved one’s care in the hands of strangers, it can often be challenging to feel at ease when abuse or neglect could be taking place behind closed doors. To proponents of allowing cameras in nursing home facilities, allowing cameras ensures increased accountability and safety from abuse and neglect for our loved ones.

According to a recent news report, other states are continuing to consider enacting laws that would allow cameras to be placed in their loved ones’ rooms in nursing homes. Proponents argue that such laws could go a long way in building a record and substantiating claims of abuse or neglect, instead of relying on staff who may fear repercussions as a result of reporting. Cameras could also be beneficial for nursing home staff to refute false claims. Although cameras will likely not solve all existing problems for elderly residents, proponents argue it could be a step in the right direction to increase transparency, accountability, and safety in these long-term care facilities.

In light of COVID-19, many nursing homes have had to close their doors to visitors because of public health and social distancing protocols. Because elderly residents of nursing homes remain a highly at-risk group in the midst of the global pandemic, many suspect that the ongoing pandemic increased the frequency of abuse or neglect taking place behind closed doors as in-person visits became restricted or limited.

Fortunately, Maryland is one of the few states that allows cameras in nursing homes. The law, however, is subject to restrictions. Under guidelines issued by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, electronic monitoring of nursing home residents is allowed only if the nursing home allows it and the resident themselves consents to being recorded.

Despite being one of only ten states in the country to allow cameras in these facilities, Maryland remains no stranger to elder abuse. As a result, Maryland law requires mandatory reporting from health practitioners, law enforcement, and human service workers who have a reasonable belief that an elderly person is in danger. Despite additional mechanisms to protect our elders, this primary law is designed to ensure that those who may be interacting most frequently with Maryland elders are able to proactively address and remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation of vulnerable adults.

If your loved one is residing in a nursing home and has a camera installed in their space, it is also important to know what the signs of abuse are, since it can take various forms. From physical abuse and neglect involving multiple injuries to psychological abuse involving threats or emotional abuse, it is crucial that you can identify the signs so that those who are responsible may be held accountable for their actions.

Do You Need a Maryland Nursing Home Attorney?

If you or a loved one have recently experienced abuse or neglect in a Maryland nursing home facility, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today for assistance. Our lawyers have represented clients in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect claims and will provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate your lawsuit with ease. To schedule a free initial consultation today, contact us at 800-654-1949.

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