New Jersey Broadens the Safe Care Cam Program, Allowing Family Members to Check on Elderly Loved Ones
Selecting a nursing home or home health aide for an elderly loved one is a decision that causes stress and grief for thousands of New Jersey residents every year. To offer these individuals peace of mind, state officials have announced that it is possible to borrow hidden cameras to hide in a nursing home or in a private residence.
Previously, cameras were only provided to those who wished to monitor home health aides that assisted elderly loved ones with their daily routines.
The state of New Jersey decided to expand the program, which was created after officials noticed an increase in misconduct complaints against home health aides. There are approximately 58,700 home health aides in New Jersey, which is more than double what the statistic was ten years ago. Though the number of complaints in the home health aide workforce is relatively low overall, officials were still concerned that the number of complaints increased at all. State Attorney General Christopher Porrino commented, “As the numbers went up, we were seeing more and more complaints of misconduct.”
In 2016, 307 home health aides were disciplined for allegedly engaging in criminal acts while on the job. In 2015, there were 207 such complaints; in 2014, 140.
Undercover video surveillance footage showed some home health aides slapping elderly patients, or feeding them roughly or ignoring them.
Of course, abuse and neglect may also occur in nursing homes, with thousands of cases reported across the United States every year. Therefore, the state of New Jersey expanded the Safe Care Cam Program to include nursing homes. Many cases of misconduct have already been reported.
Those interested in obtaining a camera must agree that it will not be placed in an area outside of the patient’s private living area.
Additionally, New Jersey has changed a rule that previously allowed home health aides to begin working while their criminal background checks were being processed. The “conditional certifications,” which lasted up to 120 days, allowed home health aides to begin working before the results of a criminal background check were obtained. Now, home health aides may not begin working and caring for patients until the criminal background check has been completed.
New Jersey has enacted these new rules and regulations with patient safety in mind. Hopefully, with the implementation of these new guidelines, the number of misconduct allegations will decrease in the home health aide and nursing home industries.
Are you concerned for the safety of a loved one? If so, contact our New Jersey nursing home abuse attorneys today for guidance
If you suspect that your loved one may be suffering neglect or abuse in a nursing home, contact Leonard Legal Group today. Our attorneys are experienced in nursing home abuse and neglect claims and work hard to ensure your loved one’s legal rights are protected and that all avenues of recovery available under the law are pursued. To schedule your free consultation, call our 24-hour call center at 973-984-1414 or contact us online.