Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed a measure into law that would allow nursing home residents to put cameras in their rooms to protect against abuse.
Each year, the Illinois Department of Public Health receives about 19,000 calls alleging neglect or abuse in nursing homes, according to a recent Chicago Tribune report.
Residents would have the choice to put cameras in their rooms if they agree to pay for them. The bill specifies that the footage could be used in court, the Tribune said.
Nursing homes would be required to post a sign at main entrances warning that rooms could be electronically monitored, the Chicago Tribune reported. Every resident living in a shared room would have to consent to a camera being installed. If a resident does not consent, that person would be moved to another room.
Legal guardians and family members would be allowed to give consent for residents whose mental condition precludes them from making such decisions. A physician would need to determine whether the resident is capable of consenting, according to the Tribune.
Nursing home abuse is a widespread problem throughout the United States. A report released in 2014 by the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services found that 22 percent of Medicare patients who stayed in a nursing facility for 35 days or less experienced harm as a result of their medical care, The New York Times reported.
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