Can You Put a Camera in a Loved One's Nursing Home Room?

Home  »  Personal InjurySex Crimes   »   Can You Put a Camera in a California Nursing Home/Extended Care Facility?

Can You Put a Camera in a California Nursing Home/Extended Care Facility?

Can You Put a Camera in a California Nursing Home/Extended Care Facility?

Jan 25, 2024

Nearly 1.3 million Americans currently reside in 15,000 nursing homes throughout the nation. Making the choice to help a loved one transition to a nursing home facility can be difficult, and their care and well-being is a common concern. Although studies suggest that the exact rate of nursing home abuse is indeterminable, research indicates it is much more widespread than people might realize.

Can You Put a Camera in a Loved One’s Nursing Home Room?

In fact, a study conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse found that approximately one in 10 seniors may experience some form of abuse while in a nursing home or extended care facility (although other studies have discovered even higher rates of elder abuse).

If you’re concerned about a loved one in a nursing home, you may be wondering if installing a security camera inside the room could help protect the resident from abuse. But what does California law say about allowing cameras in nursing homes? Keep reading to learn about your options for helping to ensure a loved one’s safety within a nursing home or extended care facility setting.

Are Cameras Allowed in California Nursing Homes?

Security cameras – also occasionally referred to as “granny cams” – can help family members determine whether or not abuse is occurring against an elderly loved one. In 2015, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) issued new guidelines allowing the use of cameras inside the rooms of elderly nursing home patients. Prior to that 2015 rule change, cameras were actually only allowed in public areas such as:

  • Lobbies
  • Dining areas
  • Hallways
  • Parking lots
  • Communal spaces

Since then, many families have made the proactive decision to install cameras inside a loved one’s nursing home room. Installing a security camera or “granny cam” can be an effective means of holding nursing home staff members accountable for any abuse or mistreatment of a loved one.

What to Know Before Installing a Camera in Your Loved One’s Nursing Home Room

While the use of cameras in nursing homes is now permissible, California still mandates that the laws regulating their use be followed. The patient must first be informed and give consent for the presence of the camera. If the patient cannot consent, then their conservator may be able to do so.

The CDSS will then need a signed waiver from the patient or their family confirming the presence of the camera. Additionally, the nursing home facility must give consent and submit a request to the CDSS for the use of the camera.

The nursing home facility must also have a plan for maintaining the confidentiality of the patient and storing the recordings in accordance with California privacy laws. Accordingly, you as a family member or caregiver cannot hide a video camera in the room of your loved one. Rather, you will need to work with the CDSS, the nursing home facility, and the patient to confirm that consent from all parties is given. Nursing homes are technically not required by law to allow cameras inside patient rooms, but when families take the appropriate steps, consent is typically given.

How Can a Nursing Home Camera Help Protect My Loved One From Abuse?

How Can a Nursing Home Camera Help Protect My Loved One From Abuse?
Cameras in nursing home rooms can serve to prevent abuse and neglect. When a facility is put on notice that a camera is live and recording the actions of employees and healthcare workers, it can automatically serve as a deterrent for malfeasance.

Additionally, if an unfortunate instance of abuse or neglect does impact your loved one, video evidence can help hold the perpetrator(s) accountable. As we’ll discuss in future paragraphs, filing a civil claim for damages can help punish wrongdoers who commit nursing home abuse while also holding the facilities accountable and securing justice through financial compensation paid to you and your family.

Types of California Nursing Home Abuse Explained

Nursing home abuse can happen in many different ways. Sadly, it’s often difficult to cofirm due to elderly victims being unwilling to report incidents (often as a result of fear, apathy, lack of confidence that anything will be done, etc.).

Some of the most common examples of nursing home abuse and neglect that can lead to a family filing a civil lawsuit for damages include:

  • Physical abuse: Any intentional physical harm inflicted on a facility resident – such abuse may include hitting, slapping, pushing, or restraining.
  • Emotional abuse: Any verbal or nonverbal behaviors that cause emotional distress or pain – such abuse may include yelling, insulting, or humiliating an extended care facility resident.
  • Sexual abuse: Any unwanted sexual contact or behavior, including touching, groping, or coerced sexual acts. This may also entail sexually suggestive photographs or any type of miscellaneous sexual violence against a vulnerable and non-consenting senior citizen.
  • Financial exploitation: Any misuse or theft of a resident’s funds, property, or assets, such as stealing their credit card or forging their signature.
  • Neglect: Any purposeful failure to provide adequate care or attention to a resident’s needs – examples of such abuse can include restricting or refusing food, water, medication, and hygiene.
  • Abandonment: This often entails a resident being left alone or unattended to by a facility staffer without providing adequate care or supervision.
  • Overmedication: Any excessive or inappropriate use of medication to control a resident’s behavior or symptoms. Such abuse often occurs without a resident’s consent or knowledge.
  • If you believe someone at a nursing home is being abused or neglected, there are certain recommended steps to take.

If you believe your loved one may be suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, checking for certain signs and symptoms is recommended:

  • Despondent or depressed
  • Bruising
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Bed sores
  • Heightened levels of confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Isolation or lack of attention to normal activities
  • Burns
  • New scars
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Unexplained STDs
  • Unexplained changes in financial situation

If you believe your loved one may be a victim of elder or nursing home abuse, contact Dordulian Law Group’s experienced and aggressive lawyers today by calling 866-GO-SEE-SAM. No one deserves to be abused or neglected, and families have every right to demand justice for wrongdoings committed by facility employees, staff members, and the institutions at-large.

Is California the Only State Which Allows Nursing Home Cameras or ‘Granny Cams?’

Several states have passed laws or legislation allowing concerned family members to install cameras if/when nursing home abuse or neglect is suspected:

  • Utah
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Washington
  • Vermont
  • Minnesota

Contact a California nursing home abuse lawyer today by calling Dordulian Law Group (DLG) for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation. We’re standing by 24/7 to answer any questions you have and provide peace of mind in pursuing justice on behalf of your loved one. Give a member of our dedicated elder abuse attorney team a call today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM.

Suspect Your Loved One is Being Abused in a Nursing Home? Call Our Experienced Elder Abuse Lawyers Today

Depending on the circumstances of a nursing home abuse case, our team of elder abuse and neglect lawyers at DLG will fight aggressively to secure all applicable damages for you and your family. In a nursing home abuse lawsuit settlement or verdict, some common damages may include:

  • Medical bills (past and future): Damages may be awarded to cover any medical expenses related to the abuse or neglect, such as hospitalization, medication, and ongoing medical care/treatment.
  • Pain & suffering: Damages may be awarded to compensate the victim for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the abuse or neglect.
  • Reduced quality of life: Damages may be awarded to compensate the victim for the loss of enjoyment of life caused by the abuse or neglect, including being unable to participate in activities they once enjoyed.
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish a nursing home that demonstrates wanton disregard for human life. If a nursing home facility’s actions were particularly heinous or negligent, punitive damages – which are not capped in the state of California – may be awarded in an effort to punish their conduct and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
  • Wrongful death: If the abuse or neglect resulted in the death of the resident, damages may be awarded to compensate the surviving family members for the loss of their loved one.

In order to prove a nursing facility wrongful death case, the plaintiff will need to show that the facility, its staff, or both were negligent, abusive or careless/reckless. Your DLG nursing abuse lawyer will present the negligence or misconduct that led to your loved one’s death in a civil suit seeking financial compensation.

The surviving family members of deceased nursing home residents may receive damages for a variety of losses, including, but not limited to:

  • Compensation for medical expenses
  • Funeral or burial expenses
  • Loss of income or support
  • Loss of insurance
  • Loss of companionship

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

Choosing a nursing home abuse lawyer who has experience in such cases is paramount. Dordulian Law Group is led by Sam Dordulian – a former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County with more than 25 years of experience securing justice for victims. As one of California’s most proven and top-rated elder abuse and negligence firms, DLG is the absolute best choice for you and your family.
Our nursing home abuse, negligence, and wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to fighting tirelessly for justice on behalf of you and your family. Contact us today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to begin the process of holding the nursing home and/or its employees responsible for any harm endured by your loved one.


Go See Sam