House Bill 605 would set up a process where a resident or family member would have the right to install a camera to monitor a room after disclosing the plan to the senior care home. The camera could not be hidden, and if the resident has a roommate, that person would have to agree to the camera’s installation. The bill also sets out a process for authorizing the camera to be turned off in some scenarios, such as when a resident is being dressed or bathed or when the resident is meeting with a spiritual advisor or attorney.
Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, said she introduced the ”compromise” bill to balance the interests of residents, families and long-term care homes at a time when the court ruling suggested residents could install hidden cameras for security purposes. Cooper said an obvious camera would protect residents. “It is human nature that when you are being watched that you take extra care with what you are doing,” Cooper said.