Granny Cam Bill
Public Act 21-55
Effective October 1, 2021 residents in nursing homes and their families can rest more comfortably knowing that they have the legal ability to virtually monitor and visit with their loved ones in a nursing home.
Public act 21-55 is entitled “An act strengthening the Bill of Rights for long-term care residents and authorizing the use of resident technology for virtual visitation and virtual monitoring”.
This statute deals with technology such as Alexa or nanny cams. Also known as granny cams.
Public Act 21-55 starts out with very broad language. It states that a patient in a nursing home is entitled to treat his or her living quarters as his or her home and balancing privacy, health & safety of other patient’s rights at the facilities, these residents have no fewer rights than any other resident of the state including but not limited to: associating and communicating privately with persons of the patient’s choice and; purchasing and using technology of the patient’s choice including but not limited to, technology that may facilitate virtual visitation with family and other persons, provided the operation and use of the technology shall not violate any individual’s right to privacy under state or federal law.
The nursing homes should have forms for the resident or their legal representative to complete giving seven days advance notice to the facility that you intend to use this technology and the details regarding the device, and it’s intended usage.
Seven days advance notice must be given to the roommate. The roommate must give consent to the use of the device. A clear and conspicuous notice must be placed on the door of the resident’s living unit indicating that technology enabling virtual monitoring and intended for such use may be in use.
Often friends and family live far away and the distance precludes frequent visits or work schedules prohibit weekday visits during traditional visiting hours. The use of this technology may serve as a valuable resource.
Also, families may have concerns about abuse or neglect of their loved one in the nursing home. Virtual monitoring may provide them with piece of mind. The purchase, activation, deactivation and removal of such technology is at the expense of the resident.