Hidden Camera Captures Shocking Nursing Home Abuse
Several employees of an Ontario long-term care facility have been suspended and investigations have been launched after Camille Parent released hidden camera video of his 85-year-old mother, Hellen MacDonald – who suffers from dementia – being mistreated and neglected. He installed a motion activated hidden camera in late April following several incidents that he found suspicious.
Over the course of a month, he captured video of a staff member taunting MacDonald with a rag smeared with her own feces, a man blowing his nose on her clean bed sheets, an elderly male resident helping himself to her belongings and more.
Saying the video footage is alarming and disturbing are understatements. And, the sad reality is this type of abuse and neglect is happening to our seniors each and every day. I commend Parent for taking matters into his own hands after he was not satisfied with the facility’s response to his concerns.
In fact, after learning about a similar application of one of our hidden cameras last year, we produced the following video depicting the family’s story: Woman Neglected in Nursing Home Saved with this Simple Product.
One thing that strikes me in Parent’s video footage is that the image is pretty clear even when the lights are off in the room, which makes me wonder if the camera had infrared capability. Users should keep this in mind if they want to film in all different kinds of light. Even in total darkness, the Zone Shield Night Vision line of infrared cameras, by SleuthGear, record visible video.
Here in the U.S., laws regarding security camera use and admissibility in cases of neglect and abuse vary state to state. Maryland, New Mexico and Texas allow nursing home residents to have surveillance cameras in their rooms and many more states are considering. Most recently, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill that allows nursing home residences to have video surveillance in their rooms at their own expense and will allow captured video to be admissible in court.
Regardless of the laws governing your state, what would you do if MacDonald was your family member?
Jill Johnston is president of KJB Security Products, a Nashville, Tenn.-based wholesale manufacturer and distributor of security and surveillance products.
Posted by Jill Johnston on Jun 03, 2013