[Paleopsych] FuturePundit: Video Cameras Spreading In Nursing Homes To Prevent Abuse

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Video Cameras Spreading In Nursing Homes To Prevent Abuse
July 29, 2004

[The surveillance society servies (link 11) are very worthwhile.]

    Called "granny-cams", the use of video cameras placed in the rooms of
    elderly nursing home residences is being funded in many cases by
    families so that [9]families can verify that their elderly are not
    being abused or neglected by nursing home workers.

      About a dozen state legislatures have granny-cam legislation under
      consideration. Earlier this year, New Mexico joined Texas in
      allowing nursing home residents or their representatives to install
      monitoring cameras in their rooms.

      Under the laws, a resident must let nursing-home operators know
      ahead of time of the placement of the camera. If the operator is
      not notified or if the equipment is not open and obvious in the
      room, the camera is considered covert surveillance and illegal.

      Use of such cameras is a positive step in reducing the potential
      for elderly abuse, Cottle, an editor at the journal, concluded. In
      particular, Web cameras hold the greatest potential for restoring
      public confidence in nursing homes by giving family members access
      to "real time" or to recently stored footage.

      Commercial outlets now sell Web-camera systems to the elderly at
      prices from $629 to $1,584, depending on the specifications of each
      camera, plus a $20 monthly fee to access the server and $10 a month
      for a data-only line to upload images.

      "Certainly some families have the financial means to provide this
      quality of technological protection, however the majority of
      Americans do not," Cottle wrote. To be effective and properly
      regulated, granny-cam technology should therefore be mandated for
      all nursing facilities.

    In some cases family members are able to monitor their parents and
    grandparents by watching camera video streams remotely over the

      Cameras also could monitor many of the basics of resident care,
      such as drug administration and diaper changing. By linking the
      camera feed to the Internet, nursing homes could handle routine
      assignments more efficiently.

      But because of understandable concerns over privacy, Cottle
      advocates placing the surveillance systems in the hands of
      independent companies, which would then monitor the equipment and
      be responsible for making the data available online.

      "In this way, families can check on their loved ones and nursing
      homes can check on their residents, and everyone will sleep a
      little better at night knowing that the independent source is
      regulating and reviewing the tapes should any problems arise,"
      Cottle wrote.

    Many people are willing to give up privacy in exchange for security.
    Effectively the cameras provide a way for more trusted people to
    monitor the actions of less trusted people. The monitoring capability
    provided by electronic technology allows the role of trusted agent to
    be separated from the role of service provider. The cameras are
    monitored either by family members or by third party organizations.
    These organizations effectively serve to audit and monitor performance
    of nursing homes on behalf of family members or even on behalf of the
    elderly themselves.

    Another way to think about video cameras used in security is that they
    allow a trusted agent to leverage their trust to enforce and monitor
    more transactions and facilities. This ability to separate out the
    role of trusted agent from the roles of providing various other
    services is a big underappreciated long term trend that is changing
    how societies are organized. It is going to affect the structure of
    governments in part by allowing outsourcing of various components of
    governance. For example, one can imagine how this could lead to
    situations where particularly corrupt governments agree to remote
    monitoring of a large range of transactions and faciltiies in exchange
    for international aid. A country like [10]Finland with an incredibly
    low level of corruption could literally provide remote trust services
    for institutions in countries with high levels of corruption such as
    Moldova or Paraguay.
    By Randall Parker at 2004 July 29 02:50 PM  [11]Surveillance Society |

    I am the Executive Director of a not for profit nursing home in
    Washington State. We installed cameras in all common areas of the
    facility several years ago. Then, the State surveyor forced us to turn
    them off and issued us a level D citation.

    We have legislative support to run a bill to help us.

    Any suggestions?

    Any legislation in other areas we should look at?
    Posted by: [13]Mike Hoon on February 11, 2005 04:14 PM


    9. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-07/uoia-uoc072704.php
   10. http://www.transparency.org/pressreleases_archive/2002/2002.08.28.cpi.en.html
   11. http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/cat_surveillance_society.html
   12. http://www.futurepundit.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi?__mode=view&entry_id=2263
   13. mailto:mike.hoon at earthlink.net

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