Cameras and monitoring equipment are prevalent in many industries and workplaces. Stores have long used closed-circuit cameras to monitor shoppers for theft and other misbehavior, for example. Even in our personal lives, we may use cameras to help increase our safety. For example, bicyclists can use Go Pros to help monitor and prevent bike accidents. Parents can now buy "nanny cams" to ensure their children are safe while they are away.
But how far should we go in monitoring the activities of caretakers at nursing homes? Residents of nursing homes are incredibly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. And unfortunately, the National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that up to 10 percent of all nursing home residents suffer from abuse or negligence.
While the vast majority of caretakers mean well, it can only take one terrible worker that slips through the cracks to have serious consequences for nursing home residents. In addition, many nursing home abuse issues are systemic, not necessarily the result of any one person. Long hours and high staff turnover can lead to sub-standard care and negligence, even if caretakers try hard to properly care for patients.
That is why many families argue that a camera can increase safety in nursing homes.