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Abuse caught on hidden “granny cams” in recent months has led to arrests and criminal charges for staff at two Twin Cities-area nursing homes.

Families seeking to discover what happens to their loved one when they’re away have increasingly turned to using “granny cams.” Similar to nanny cameras used by parents to keep a watchful eye on their children, electronic surveillance cameras have been used by some families in nursing homes to observe their family member.

Some recordings have captured shocking acts of elder abuse.

Legislation is currently under consideration in Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Oklahoma Law Favors the Resident In 2013, Oklahoma legislators unanimously voted to enact the Protect Our Loved Ones Act.

Additionally, employee awareness of the potential for electronic surveillance could decrease the risk of abuse based on the presumption that employee is more likely to be on their best behavior when under the belief that they’re being watched.

For example, knowing that one might be recorded could reduce potential for physical or sexual abuse, ensure that meals are given on time and feeding assistance is provided if required, ensure that medicine is distributed according to schedule, and confirm that residents are being treated well.

Incident reports of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes have increased across the United States as facilities competing to fill beds have cut back on the quality of care provided.

Signs of elder abuse or neglect can include unexplained injuries or bruising, bedsores, or malnutrition.

“We never dreamed we would find what we found,” said Peters, a nurse practitioner. There was the sudden and unexplained drop in their mother’s weight, from 105 pounds to 94 pounds, which made her already-slight frame look gaunt and emaciated, the sisters said.

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