Beginning March 23, Esther’s Law will give the families of those living in Ohio’s nursing homes an extra measure of reassurance, as it allows for cameras to be placed in residents’ rooms.
In 2011, Steve Piskor believed his mother, Esther, was being abused in a Cleveland nursing home, but he was getting nowhere until he hid a camera in her room and took the footage to the media. The video shows nursing home aides hitting Esther.
“We knew that something was wrong,” Piskor told WOIO in Cleveland. “The nursing home was fighting me on everything that I tried to do. I even filed complaints with the Department of Health, and the Department of Health would say basically if we don’t see it, we can’t do anything about it.”
Now, nursing home residents will have the option to put a camera in their room with the consent of any roommates. Nursing homes are prohibited from discriminating against those who choose to have a camera installed. Importantly, because the cameras are the property of the residents, nursing homes do not have access to the footage without the resident’s permission.
We know those who make the difficult decision to place loved ones in nursing homes have a range of worries. Of course, most nursing homes and their staffs are caring, responsible and go above and beyond to ensure residents’ well-
being. But should there be any doubt, residents and their families now have an important tool in Ohio to ease their minds.
It shouldn’t have taken a decade to accomplish, but those who fought for the law now can breathe a little easier, too.
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