The virus crisis has isolated many of our seniors who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. A new law will allow a family to see their loved one with a camera they can install in their room. With the camera, a family will have the peace-of-mind being able to see directly what is happening at the nursing home, which is important when visitation is limited now due to COVID-19.
The bill signed into law by Missouri Governor Mike Parson makes it legal for families to place a camera into a loved one's room at a nursing home. Proponents of the legislation say the camera will help prevent abuse and aid in abuse investigations in nursing homes. However, as we have seen with the current virus crisis, the ability to see their loved one will reduce the anxiety many families feel during this crisis.
Even after the virus crisis is over, the constant available contact can be a powerful tool to ensure quality care is being delivered for their family member.
Law Eases Family Concerns
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy (R-St. Louis). He said his office received many calls from concerned family members concerned about family members and their well-being during the crisis but unable to visit them in the nursing home.
"What I get now is, 'What am I going to do? How do I see my loved one? And what are they doing in there? We don't know what they're doing in there,'" Murphy said.
The law gives the video ownership to both the family and the facility to maintain the staff's privacy. In cases of abuse, the family can provide the video to state authorities without the facility's permission. In addition, a facility may not evict a resident if the family installs a camera.
Several States Have Similar Laws Now
Missouri joins several states that now allow the 'camera spy' inside a room of a nursing home. These states are:
- New Mexico
"It gives our citizens the opportunity to look in on their loved ones and protect them from abuse and just see what is going on," Rep. Murphy said.
The law becomes effective in August.