Can Maryland and Virginia Families Install Surveillance Cameras in their Loved One’s Nursing Home to Prevent Abuse and Neglect?

Nursing home abuse and neglect have become endemic nationwide, and the mid-Atlantic region has been affected especially hard. Overworked employees, ineffective laws and regulations, and a profit-driven motive all contribute to instances of nursing home abuse and neglect. To ensure that their loved ones are being cared for appropriately and remain safe, some families have chosen to put surveillance cameras in their loved ones’ rooms so they can check up on them remotely. Placing a camera in a room may also preserve any possible evidence in the event of alleged abuse and neglect.

Maryland’s legislature enacted laws permitting and regulating the installation of cameras in nursing homes several years ago. A contemporaneously published national news report discussed the legislature’s reasoning for passing the law. According to the facts discussed in the news report, Maryland’s legislature was the first in the nation to pass a law that would allow nursing home residents and their families to install cameras in the resident’s rooms. Some nursing homes opposed the law, as it would result in more accountability and possible liability for any issues, but the legislature and elder health advocates stood their ground and the law was passed.

Are Cameras Allowed in Maryland Nursing Homes?

Under current Maryland law, nursing home residents and their families are allowed to place cameras in the residents’ rooms, but some conditions must be met. Both the resident and the nursing home must know of and approve of the camera. If a camera is not approved by a nursing home, whatever footage of abuse or neglect that is captured may not be admissible in a court of law. The laws in Virginia are substantially similar. Under these legal frameworks, it is essential for people seeking a nursing home for their loved one to confirm that they are allowed to place a camera in their room if they so desire.

Some Maryland and Virginia nursing homes will refuse requests to have cameras installed in residents’ rooms. Whether this is out of some privacy or other concerns is not clear. It certainly appears that nursing homes are refusing cameras in rooms as a means of keeping themselves from being held accountable in the event of instances of abuse or neglect. Nursing home abuse is tragically common, and nursing home administrators will do everything in their power to avoid being held responsible for such acts of abuse. Placing cameras in the room of your loved one may be one way to ensure their safety, but abuse may still occur, and your family members deserve to be protected.

A Strong Advocate for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one is a resident of a nursing home in Maryland, DC, or Virginia, and you suspect they may have been abused or neglected, the time to take action is now. The qualified elder abuse attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen know how to successfully prosecute nursing home abuse cases, and we can help you and your loved ones obtain the compensation that you deserve. The negligence lawyers with Lebowitz and Mzhen accept clients for most types of DC, Maryland, and Virginia injury cases, including nursing home abuse claims. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a dedicated lawyer from Lebowitz and Mzhen today.

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