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Protecting your parent in a Florida nursing home

When a parent moves in to a nursing home, it can be unnerving. Are they being cared for properly? Is their medicine being administered at the right time each day? Are they personal-care needs being met?

Nothing is more important to us than to know Mom or Dad is OK from morning to night. If you can have a nanny cam in your home to watch over your child’s caregiver while you’re at work,  why can’t you put a camera in your parent’s room to peek in on her activities from your smartphone when you can’t be there?

It’s an intriguing idea, but Florida is not among the states that has green-lighted the use of surveillance cameras in nursing home rooms. Some state have laws that allow cameras to be installed in nursing home residents’ rooms, provided the resident and their roommate (if they have one) agree. Federal law gives nursing home residents requires residents be treated with respect and dignity. This includes a right to privacy, which a camera would violate.

A surveillance camera sounds like a great idea if you suspect that your loved one might be being mistreated, but it is no replacement for family involvement and personal attention. Don’t hesitate to discuss anything of concern with the facility administrator or a social worker. The local long-term care ombudsman or the state agency that licenses the nursing home are also places to report anything that is worrisome to you about your parent’s care. If you notice anything physically wrong, tell your parent’s doctor immediately.

An attorney who has worked with nursing home abuse cases also is an excellent resource regarding the next steps to take to make sure your parent is getting the best care possible.

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