Group pushes for cameras in nursing homes, especially amid COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 6:35 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - With the coronavirus spreading through nursing homes and long-term facilities at alarming rates, there is a renewed push to allow family members to put cameras in patient rooms.

While Ohio does not have a law prohibiting the cameras, the decision to allow them is determined by management at the care facilities.

Paula Mueller with Elderly Advocates said most nursing homes prohibit cameras.

“I know there is opposition to the cameras because of privacy laws, but they can be overcome," she said.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus to patients and staff, visitation has been cancelled at nursing homes.

The lack of access has some worried about their loved one’s care.

Allowing cameras will help ease the anxiety and offer peace of mind.

“These are our moms, dads, sisters and brothers and we are being shut out and we are supposed to trust everything is ok," said Mueller. “Families are not trying to catch bad outcomes, they are trying to avoid them and prevent them.”

In 2019, House Bill 461 and Senate Bill 255, known as “Esther’s Law”, was introduced last year and would allow for cameras. The bills are currently in committee.

An email campaign is being launched this week, aimed at Governor DeWine, hoping he will mandate nursing homes allow for cameras, at least during the pandemic.

To find our more about Elderly Advocates, you can visit their website.

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