"Granny cams" used to catch elder abuse in New York

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the arrest of a certified nurse's aide employed with the Gold Crest Care Center in the Bronx. According to a statement from the attorney general, the aide was allegedly recorded with a concealed camera twisting the patient's arm and pushing the old woman forcefully into her bed. Additional recordings also filmed the aide repeatedly striking the patient.

The recordings played a role in charging the aide with multiple forms of nursing home abuse, including three counts of Willful Violation of the Public Health Law and Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person.

Granny cams in nursing homes

Use of hidden cameras in nursing home facilities, referred to as "granny cams," in an attempt to thwart nursing home abuse is not uncommon. The New York Times recently ran a piece outlining how attorney generals in various states, including New York, have often relied on the use of these cameras to provide evidence of abuse.

Granny cams New York elder abuseNew York is not the only state using this evidence. Ohio's state attorney general uses evidence from granny cams as well. The attorney general recently installed cameras throughout various Ohio state facilities. The presence of the cameras is not disclosed, and the attorney general hopes that this will serve as added deterrence against nursing home abuse.

It is important to note that these cameras not only provide evidence to help hold those who are abusing the elderly responsible for their actions, but can also help ensure an aide or assistant who is providing quality care is not wrongfully accused.

Signs of nursing home abuse

Setting up a granny cam is controversial. Opponents argue that the devices compromise the elder's privacy. With this in mind, some recommend only installing the device if abuse is suspected.

The National Center on Elder Abuse through the University of Delaware notes that the most common signs of elder abuse include:

  • Physical abuse: Unexplainable bruises, fractures and bed sores.
  • Emotional abuse: Unexplainable withdrawal from normal activities or changes in alertness.
  • Neglect: Untreated bed sores, pressure ulcers or a lack of basic hygiene.
  • Financial exploitation: Caregiver with control over elder's finances fails to adequately provide for the senior.

If a video cam confirms that abuse is present, the abuser can be held accountable for his or her actions.

Liability in nursing home abuse cases

In addition to criminal charges, civil suits can also be filed. These suits can include claims against both the responsible employee and the facility. The facility could be held accountable if it did not follow proper practices when hiring the individual charged with abuse.

If you or a loved one is the victim of elder abuse, contact an experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your case. This legal professional will be able to discuss your legal rights and options.