Matthew Minner | November 10, 2021 | Uncategorized
A new bill is making its way through the Ohio state legislature. It aims to cut down on cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. Senate Bill 58 is also known as “Esther’s Law,” and it would allow nursing home residents or their legal guardians to install cameras in their rooms inside of nursing home facilities. Local news outlets have been closely monitoring the progress of the measure as it continues to make its way through the legislative process.
The bill takes its name from Esther Piskor. She is a Cleveland nursing home resident who ended up being brutally abused by nursing aides. The family of the woman suspected that something was not right and placed hidden video cameras in Esther’s room. That is how they caught eight nursing aides abusing the elderly woman. The disturbing footage shows Esther being physically thrown onto her bed as her legs collide with the wall. In a separate video, Esther is grabbed by her neck and thrown into her wheelchair. She is screamed at and hit in the face.
After seeing the heartbreaking abuse on film, the family went to the authorities with their evidence, and several of the aides not only lost their jobs but were sentenced to jail time. With their case essentially solved, the family wondered what else could be done to prevent further instances of abuse from happening. This question became especially relevant thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic when many family members had no way of visiting or checking on their precious loved ones.
Currently, only a handful of states allow cameras in nursing homes. Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma allow families to install cameras in the rooms of their loved ones. However, it is still illegal in Kentucky to place cameras anywhere inside a nursing home or long-term care facility. Most Kentucky nursing homes cite privacy issues as their main objection to cameras inside the rooms of residents.
Privacy is a valid concern. Some families in Ohio are hesitant about the possible new law and worry that there may be gray areas in how it is applied. Other families are hopeful that the new measure will pass and give them an extra layer of security and peace of mind that their loved one is safe.
Cameras in nursing homes are a topic that continues to gain attention and momentum in other states across the country. In the meantime, Kentucky residents need to continue to monitor their loved ones and watch for signs of nursing home abuse. Cameras may be useful tools, but you are always going to be your loved one’s best resource for spotting abuse and advocating for their best interests.