Families can install cameras in nursing homes to monitor safety of loved ones

Under the terms of a new Illinois law effective on January 1, 2016, families will be able – for the first time – to legally install monitoring cameras in the nursing home rooms occupied by their loved ones.

The safety of senior citizens in nursing homes is a serious concern. Every year, the Illinois Department of Public Health receives approximately 19,000 complains of abuse and neglect against long term care facilities. While some of these complaints prove upon investigation to be unfounded, these facilities house some of Illinois’ most vulnerable residents. The new law was supported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

The cameras will have the capability to stream video to an observant family member. In House debate, supporters of the bill told their colleagues that the measure will sharply increase the peace of mind of family members who will utilize the new law to monitor the safety of their loved ones. Similar cameras and video streams are often used, under existing law, by Illinois working families to monitor the health and safety of young children in a home or day care environment.