Bill would allow cameras in Illinois nursing homes

METROPOLIS, IL (KFVS) - Illinois would become the fourth state in the U.S. to allow video and audio monitoring devices in nursing homes if Gov. Bruce Rauner signs legislation approved by the General Assembly.

Misty Meadows, a senior living center in Metropolis, Illinois serves 43 residents.

With the possibility of cameras and audio devices inside the rooms, it's an idea that some Misty Meadows residents aren't too fond of.

"It's being nosy…you know?" 91-year-old resident, Rene Pickering said.

There are 13 cameras installed at Misty Meadows, all in the common areas. Some residents feel that having cameras inside the rooms is a little too much.

"Sometimes I run around in my nightgown all day and if you had a camera, that wouldn't give you any privacy," Pickering said. "You'd be afraid to do anything."

"I don't think it's necessary," resident Joanne Jones said. "I like my privacy."

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said by having cameras in the rooms, it could help resolve disputes over suspected neglect or abuse, ensuring residents are treated well and giving families an added piece of mind.

Owner, Dana Legereit said while this is a nationwide problem, the main priority of the residents is their privacy.

"I feel that should really rethink this and if they're going to do that, it needs to be smart sensitive as to where it would only be put in their living area," Legereit said. "But I do not think it needs to be put anywhere in the bedroom or the bathrooms, or their changing rooms at all."

Legereit said each month employees do a residents' conference interview.

"We go in and we sit down and we talk to our residents and we have certain residents that do that and oversee that to make sure that there is no neglect going on and that they're well cared for and that their privacy is well protected here," she said.

Legereit said if family members want nanny cams placed in their family member's rooms, they would allow it.

"If a family member was to ask us to monitor the rooms and maybe put a nanny cam or some type of camera in the room, then yes, by all means we would in order for them to help figure out what's going on, but I think by rights they should [family members] be monitoring it and not us," she said.

Supporters - including Attorney General Lisa Madigan - say putting cameras in residents' rooms would help ensure they're treated well and give families added peace of mind.

The (Quincy) Herald-Whig reports (http://bit.ly/1HCOzqL ) some local nursing home administrators have concerns.

Mike Duffy is administrator of Good Samaritan Home. He questions whether a resident can give proper consent to be videotaped when it would often be a family member installing a camera.

Madigan said the law would require consent from the resident and any roommates.

The bill is HB2462.

Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig, http://www.whig.com

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 Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press also contributed to this story.