Granny Cam – What is this?

Why would you need a granny cam? What is it used for? Is it intrusive?

Many elderly are frail and vulnerable. Adult children often worry about what is happening to their loved one once they leave. I can assure you that all of the communities I work in have stellar levels of care and commitment to the utmost gentle and competent care of their residents. However, occasionally you do hear of a story where an elderly person has been abused. Some are under the opinion that it is better to be safe than sorry and others see it as intrusive and demeaning to the senior.

According to US News & World Report, “MANY STATES NOW HAVE laws mandating that senior communities grant resident requests to install video monitoring equipment, or what we call "granny cams." The latest count shows that Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, Maryland, Utah and Virginia have some type of law in this area, and New Jersey enacted a program that loans equipment to health care consumers to allow them to do so. More than a dozen more states are looking into it. It's a controversial issue and fraught with legal peril. There is no federal law prohibiting the use of such cameras however.”

According to MedicineNet, the medical definition is as follows: “A Granny cam: A camcorder (a video camera and video recorder in one unit) that displays a live feed of elderly people, as in a nursing home, to keep an eye on them and the care they receive. The issue of the granny cams has a matter for debate between the nursing home industry, which opposes them as an invasion of privacy, and advocates who favor such surveillance as a means of discouraging elder abuse. Also known as a granny-cam or grannycam.”

Here is a link to a widely used granny cam.

Who pays for these cameras and the Internet coverage to run them? According to Chicago elder care attorney Jason Lundy, it’s the resident and his or her family. “So far the laws are pretty universal that any recording is at the expense of the resident and family,” Lundy said. “They have to buy the camera, arrange for installation and maintenance. If it is a webcam that transmits over WiFi, then the family would have to contract with a provider to do the streaming.”

The decision whether to install surveillance is a personal one. Every effort should be made to honor the wishes of the aging parent, however due to cognitive decline it may be necessary to make the decision alone. Discuss this installation process with the care coordinator and ask for advice. If there is a strong need or desire to install such surveillance perhaps that is a sign you shouldn’t choose this assisted living facility. Research, and contemplation are necessary before you implement such devices.

Call Missy Donaghy for a FREE consultation 321-279-3301.


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