[Paleopsych] FuturePundit: Video Cameras Spreading In Nursing Homes To Prevent Abuse
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Sat Apr 9 17:56:54 UTC 2005
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 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,"
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
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 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 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 legislation in other areas we should look at?
Posted by: Mike Hoon on February 11, 2005 04:14 PM
13. mailto:mike.hoon at earthlink.net
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