Are Hidden Granny Cams Legal?

Using a “Granny Cam” to Protect Your Loved Ones from Nursing Home Abuse – Is This Legal?

A few weeks ago, we had a blog regarding COVID and how it has affected our seniors who are in assisted living and nursing home facilities. Today, I wanted to expand upon that further and discuss using a “Granny Cam.” We’ll discuss how it relates to the things we’re seeing in nursing homes as a result of COVID and the subsequent isolation it has caused.

Of course, nobody wants to go into a nursing home. But how do you take care of your loved one when you’re forced into that situation? Prior to the pandemic, you could easily go and visit your loved ones at a nursing home. I would always encourage all my clients who have family in a nursing home to visit them and visit them often.

We recommend visiting the nursing home at different times of the day, and don’t tell the staff that you’re coming. This will make it easier for you to detect if there is a problem, and also keep the staff on their toes so that they’re more likely to take good care of your loved one. But in today’s environment with COVID lockdowns, visitation has been highly restricted. You either have to call ahead and schedule a time or possibly get a window visit. If you’re lucky, you maybe can get an outdoor visit.

So how do you ensure that your loved one is receiving the proper care if you’re only able to see them through a window or a quick 15 minute visit on the back porch?

Introducing the “Granny Cam”

Many of you have probably heard of these “nanny cams” that parents use to keep an eye on their infants who are sleeping. Some parents also use them to ensure that their babysitters are taking proper care of their children. The newest trend involves using these devices called “Granny Cams.” This is a camera that you can place in the room of your loved ones to monitor the nursing home’s treatment of them and ensure they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

From the National Center for Victims of Crime, the breakdown of types of complaints for elder abuse includes: 28% physical, 22% resident on resident abuse, 19% psychological abuse, 15% gross neglect, 8% sexual abuse, and 8% financial exploitation. So how do you protect your loved ones from these types of abuses that are prevalent in nursing home facilities?

The granny cam is certainly one way to do this. It allows you to know what’s happening behind the scenes because you monitor it from your home, phone, or work computer. Having an eye on your loved one at all times allows you to know if they are being exploited, abused, or neglected, and gives you some great comfort knowing they are safe and treated well.

Can You Legally Use a Granny Cam?

So the question becomes, are these granny cams legal? Well, there aren’t any current laws here in Georgia or Florida regarding granny cams. We did find one court case that addressed granny cams and it was here in Georgia. It involved a WWII Veteran who was abused by some nursing home facility employees, and criminal charges were brought by the District Attorney in that county.

The nursing home employees objected to the use of the granny cam evidence, saying that it violated their right to privacy. Luckily, the court provided some common sense into the situation, which is often lacking in today’s world. The court said that because the Veteran had paid for that room, the Veteran had an expectation of privacy. The court also stated that the employee who was in the room had no expectation of privacy. The granny cam evidence was then used in the case and one of the nursing home employees was convicted of homicide because the Veteran died from the injuries he sustained as a result of the physical abuse.

So are granny cams legal or not? As of right now they are. Should you put one in your loved one’s room? Well before you do that, you need to consult with someone like us to give you some advice as to whether or not that would be appropriate under the circumstances. You certainly don’t want to get in hot water with law enforcement by putting a camera where you’re not allowed.

Contact Us So We Can Help You

If you have loved ones who are in a nursing home or will soon be going into a nursing home, we’ll be glad to talk to you. We’ll answer any questions you have about granny cams, nursing home protection, or any other related questions you may have. Please send us an email to [email protected], complete this form, or feel free to call us at 229-226-8183.

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