Worries about what goes on behind closed doors in residential care facilities may keep families up at night. A neighboring state has taken steps to help alleviate some concerns over nursing home abuse. If it proves successful, perhaps Pennsylvania will consider a similar program.
Until recently, the ability to use a hidden camera to view the care that loved ones receive in a nursing or assisted living home was not condoned by the jurisdiction that has now embraced the cameras. Now, the cameras are not only permitted but are provided free of charge, according to the established guidelines. The video monitors were previously only permitted for private homes.
Another measure intended to prevent abuse or theft in a patient's private home was also enacted. When a private residence caregiver applied for his or her certification, the state would permit that applicant to start work immediately while the state's Board of Nursing conducted the requisite criminal background investigation. New Jersey has now eliminated that waiver. It is hoped that a thorough background check before employment begins will ensure the safety of a patient under the care of an in-home health worker.
New Jersey's Safe Care Cam program and the new rules for private home health workers are all in place to help prevent any patient from having to endure abusive or neglectful care while no one is watching. Pennsylvania families do have options available if they suspect that nursing home abuse or neglect has taken place in a facility that cares for their loved one. Along with filing a complaint with the facility and/or the appropriate agency, they may also be entitled to file a civil lawsuit against the parties believed responsible for monetary damages and in an effort to ensure that no other patient in that facility is subjected to abusive treatment in the future.
Source: ridgefieldpark.dailyvoice.com, "NJ Offers Hidden Cams To Monitor Loved Ones' Nursing Home Treatment", Jerry DeMarco, May 9, 2017