The benefits of such a system are great for those who are concerned about their loved ones staying active in their home or for more specific activities like eating meals and taking medications at the right time of day. Additionally, for those hiring homecare services and nursing, it can be essential to have an extra accountability mechanism, to look after those who look after yours.
Recently, we have had clients use this type of technology to monitor the care their spouse was receiving in a senior community, when their intuition told them something wasn’t right. This recently happened when a spouse was concerned his wife wasn’t receiving the care he was being told she was. The situation began when his spouse started having bed sores, in addition to the sheets not being changed for over a week. As he reviewed the footage of the video that was recorded, it was confirmed that the community was not coming in during their specified times or regularly changing out her bedding.
There are no laws to date across Kansas and Missouri strictly prohibiting the use of cameras in nursing homes or long-term care communities. However, some communities may have privacy laws agreed upon per resident contracts, preventing the recording of patient care. If this is the case with a community you are considering for one of your loved ones, this may be cause for concern.
When speaking with our state Ombudsman office this week they mentioned a senate bill proposed by The Committee of Public Health and Welfare that would implement changes in the law if passed. However, the bill died by general orders back in 2016, but is being talked about again in Topeka to possibly be brought back for consideration. Barbara Hickert, with the Kansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, spoke out against the bill saying that it favors nursing homes over residents. Saying that making residents post if they are recording in their rooms could lower the standard of care for other residents.
Recently, some of our clients have used video technology by installing in the home of a parent for by her siblings. While the out of town sibling contemplated if their parent needed to be moved to a senior community, they hoped the video would show how capable their parent was living home alone. Being able to check in on their parent’s wellness from afar, would eventually provide them the confidence they needed to assure themselves that their mother could still live at home alone. The solution included further use of video monitoring and some additional needed homecare.
Before installing cameras in your parents or loved one’s homes, it’s required you receive their approval in advance. It is perfectly legal for the owner of a home to record anyone in or on their own property without their knowledge. Recordings can also be used as evidence in court and are often recommended to oversee home care/health professionals.
Many parents are concerned this type of surveillance is unnecessary and overly intrusive. However, when a comprehensive discussion is communicated between all participating parties, it is relatively easy to convince an elderly loved one that the benefits of home monitoring well outweigh the concerns one may have, keeping them safe and in the home.
Another option for in home monitoring is placing sensors in strategic locations throughout the home. Sensors are less intrusive and can be as effective as video monitoring for safety and accountability. Sensors have the capability of sending text messages, emails or even provide a phone call when your parents activity patterns are out of the ordinary. Placing sensors throughout the home in areas like a bedroom, bathroom or pill cabinet, can assure you they are getting up in the morning, haven’t fallen and are taking their medications at the right time of day.
Both of these monitoring options have become readily available and affordable to the general public. If you are interested in discovering solutions for your loved ones when it comes to their well-being both physically and financially during the later stages of life, please reach out to us with any questions you have. After three decades of work, our team has a wealth of knowledge and personal experience in finding the right solutions for our clients.
Berger Estate & Elder Law P.A. has been serving Kansas City for over 30 years providing Trusted Council with Proactive Solutions. Give us a call today at (913) 491-6332, visit our website berger-lawfirm.com or stop by our conveniently located offices at 11233 Nall, Suite 140 Leawood, KS 66211 for more information.