Illinois nursing homes to allow ‘granny cams’ in 2016

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Starting January 1, 2016 all nursing homes in Illinois are required to allow residents' families to put cameras in their loved ones' rooms to monitor the care they are receiving.

These recording devices are commonly known as granny cams.

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"It gives them a sense of security, a sense of peace, that their loved ones are getting the finest care they can get," says Alzheimer's Association's Development and Communications Specialist, Bill Horrell.

The cost of the cameras fall on the families, the cameras can't take still photographs, and facility staff needs to be notified first.

According to ABC News, between the years of 1999 and 2001, one in three nursing homes in the USA were cited for more than 9,000 instances of abuse.

Elderly advocates say having video evidence can help bring that number down.

"There's less interpretation when it comes to video. It's more straight forward," says Horrell.

Nursing home employees in the QCA say this law is a win for them as well.

Ted Pappas Junior is the President and CEO of Friendship Manor in Rock Island. He says some cases of reported abuse are simply misunderstandings.

"It would help the employees be able to tell the whole story, and it would prove what the employees are saying. It's actually helpful to the staff," says Pappas.

Besides helping to prove innocence, Pappas anticipates these cameras will improve the overall care of residents.

"If everybody knows they're on camera, I think you're going to think further about things that you do," says Pappas.

And while both parties don't anticipate a major increase in camera use right away, the thought is this is a win win situation for everybody involved.