Right now, family members may choose to set up cameras in nursing homes, but they cannot demand that the nursing home does it for them. They have no legal right to say that the room has to be under camera surveillance all of the time.

That may change in the future. The legislature in Florida is considering a bill that would give families that right. They could then tell the centers to connect webcams in these rooms. The families would have the ability to observe the webcams when they chose to do so. If the cameras saved footage, they may even be able to access data from an earlier period, when they were not online, but that would naturally depend on the system that was used.

Florida is not the only state considering this. The same type of bill is being looked at in Minnesota. Eight other states, including New Mexico, Texas and Virginia, already have various statutes in play.

The reason that families support this change, of course, is that they want to keep their loved ones safe. A camera may act as a deterrent against abuse. It may key them off that abuse is happening so that they can stop it. It may also just provide evidence after the fact if the case ends up in court.

As such, it will be very important to keep an eye on these legal proceedings to see how they play out. Families always need to know what legal options they have to protect their loved ones and what steps they can take when they suspect that either abuse or neglect are taking place.