Using a Camera to Catch Elder Abuse in Alabama

Jun 17, 2018 | Allen A. Ritchie

Nursing Home Abuse

Just as the technology exists to watch your baby 24/7, it also exists to watch grandma and grandpa. But is it legal?

The Alabama laws are a bit unclear. It depends on where you are placing the camera and who has agreed to be taped.

Speaking broadly, you must have the permission of all parties being recorded if you are filming in a place where the participants can expect privacy. Here are some examples where permission is required: inside your house, in a restaurant bathroom or, and this is my main point, inside a nursing home bedroom.

Now, day care centers get around this by having parents agree to the video monitoring. However, and this is the shocking part about Alabama nursing homes, some nursing facilities are having residents and family members expressly agree to NOT place video cameras to monitor the residents.

The justifications vary, but nursing homes often site the privacy of other residents as their reason for this rule. I am skeptical, but if you want your loved one in that facility, you have little choice but to sign.

Now if you are caring for mom or dad in your home or in their home, the rules change. Here you can have a monitor running if everyone agrees. Plus, you can have a monitor on the porch since that is visible from the street and is considered public. Just remember to point it carefully. If it is possible to see inside your neighbor’s window, you can be in big trouble.

Even if you can not monitor your elderly relatives, there are other ways to get help. Feel free to contact a lawyer or Alabama’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the contact info for the Ombudsman is posted at the facility.

If you suspect nursing home abuse, are hurt in a traffic accident or suffer a personal injury, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Also join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30 right after the news. We will take your calls live.

Allen Ritchie
Alabama personal injury lawyer