Elderly Lives Matter®

Hidden Cameras and Nursing Home Abuse

On Behalf of | Oct 8, 2018 | Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Florida residents who have to find nursing home accommodations for a loved one often have numerous concerns about safety. While it can help to take important precautions such as researching the home and keeping a watchful eye out for signs of abuse, it can still be hard to achieve certainty that staff is treating one’s family member properly at all times. Additionally, it is one matter to strongly suspect abuse; it is another to obtain proof.

As a result, families often want to know if they can place a hidden camera in their loved one’s room. In Florida, this is a complex issue that can raise a number of legal concerns.

Current laws

Unlike several other states, Florida law does not explicitly allow the use of cameras in a nursing home or assisted living facility. It also does not explicitly prohibit such use. However, the lack of a provision allowing cameras means that placement can be subject to various restrictions, such as a nursing home contract and privacy laws. Although some Florida groups continue to advocate for a law permitting cameras, the Florida Health Care Association strongly opposes it.

Privacy concerns

The issue of privacy can become particularly salient if the elder in question does not have the capacity to consent to a camera’s placement or if there are additional roommates. Additionally, Florida’s two-party consent laws can mean a recording that includes audio would not serve as evidence.

Video cameras can detect abuse

Nevertheless, as several news stories report, concerned relatives in Florida do sometimes install hidden cameras, which can capture disturbing scenes of abuse by staff members. The compelling video proof enabled the families of the victims to come forward and obtain some forms of recourse.

Because video recordings can provide important proof, it is essential to install and use any cameras in a way that would not invalidate their use as evidence.

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