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Effectiveness of a law preventing elder abuse

Amarillo, Texas - Nanny cams have been very popular over the years. A Texas law allows the same type of camera to be placed in rooms of senior citizens. Oklahoma may soon pass that same law.

In an effort to prevent the abuse and neglect of those in assisted living facilities, Texas passed what is called Authorized Electronic Monitoring, in 2002. Oklahoma now hopes to do the same.

But, how effective has the option to add cameras been in prevention of abuse?

"Every resident, or resident family member, has the right to have electronic monitoring in their room if they desire to do so. Sort of like a nanny cam, so that their loved one at home can see what's going on in the room when they're not here," Lorry Parker, The Cottages at Quail Creek Executive Director says.

Authorized Electronic Monitoring is an option at every assisted living facility in Texas. We asked Parker why she thought someone would want to place a camera in their loved one's room.

"For piece of mind for the family members, and also one more way to protect against abuse and neglect," Parker says.

But, she says in her career as a care taker, she's never seen someone install a camera. No one at Vivian's Nursing Home has used this either.

Our biggest question was "Why not?"

"If you really believed that your loved one was being abused or mistreated, or that you really had to monitor the staff or that home to that magnitude and that cost, why are they still in that home. Why would you even consider leaving them there," Linda Littlefield, Vivian's Nursing Home administrator says.

Littlefield says new residents don't think twice about using this option now.

"We go through the admission process, and it's in our admission packet, explain the regulation and what it is and what it means, and it's their option, and they're just not interested in it," Littlefield says.

The Oklahoma legislation will be moving to the House next for a vote after passing through the Senate recently.

 

More information on AEM guidelines can be found at www.dads.state.tx.us/providers/ALF/rules.html 

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