For many people who care for aging parents, one solution is a safe, responsible nursing home.
But an increasingly common means of ensuring that safety — security cameras installed by relatives — may do more harm than good, says Clara Berridge, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Washington.
With reports of crimes against nursing home residents gaining media attention around the country, it’s understandable that families would want to protect their loved one and attempt to establish accountability for care, Berridge said. But in articles published late last winter in AJOB Empirical Bioethics and Elder Law Journal, Berridge outlines the list of legal and moral issues that surveillance raises.
“The use of cameras in resident rooms is so common that some states have passed laws to help families and facilities navigate the legal issues. But it’s not just a gray zone for law. Lots of ethical issues are at play, and it raises the question of privacy’s role in our lives.”