Eye Spy in Missouri – New Law Allows Cameras in Nursing Homes

Missouri joins several other states allowing a camera to be installed in a family member’s nursing home room. It is intended to help limit abuse and give family the ability to stay connected with their loved one.

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Eye Spy in Missouri – New Law Allows Cameras in Nursing Homes
2 Min Read July 17th, 2020

The virus crisis has isolated many of our seniors who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. A new law will allow a family to see their loved one with a camera they can install in their room. With the camera, a family will have the peace-of-mind being able to see directly what is happening at the nursing home, which is important when visitation is limited now due to COVID-19.

Mike ParsonThe bill signed into law by Missouri Governor Mike Parson makes it legal for families to place a camera into a loved one's room at a nursing home. Proponents of the legislation say the camera will help prevent abuse and aid in abuse investigations in nursing homes.  However, as we have seen with the current virus crisis, the ability to see their loved one will reduce the anxiety many families feel during this crisis.  

Even after the virus crisis is over, the constant available contact can be a powerful tool to ensure quality care is being delivered for their family member. 

Law Eases Family Concerns

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy (R-St. Louis). He said his office received many calls from concerned family members concerned about family members and their well-being during the crisis but unable to visit them in the nursing home.

"What I get now is, 'What am I going to do? How do I see my loved one? And what are they doing in there? We don't know what they're doing in there,'" Murphy said.

The law gives the video ownership to both the family and the facility to maintain the staff's privacy. In cases of abuse, the family can provide the video to state authorities without the facility's permission. In addition, a facility may not evict a resident if the family installs a camera. 

Several States Have Similar Laws Now

Missouri joins several states that now allow the 'camera spy' inside a room of a nursing home. These states are:

  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington

"It gives our citizens the opportunity to look in on their loved ones and protect them from abuse and just see what is going on," Rep. Murphy said.

The law becomes effective in August.

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About the Author

Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.

LTC News Contributor Linda Kople

Linda Kople

Contributor since October 31st, 2017

Editor's Note

The best way for many people to receive long-term health care is in their own home. However, there are situations where a facility is best. Assisted living facilities provide more privacy and independence compared to a nursing home. However, there are some types of patients that an assisted living facility is unable to accept. For some, a memory care facility or a nursing home will offer the best quality care.

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