Pennsylvania does not have a law on cameras in nursing homes. The state defaults to federal guidelines that protect the dignity and privacy of nursing-home residents, but they do not address the use of cameras.
If you want the state to address this one way or the other, contact:
- Your local ombudsman program or the state ombudsman. Here’s a list of contact information by county. Wilmarie Gonzalez, the state long-term care ombudsman, can be reached at 717-783-8975.
- Your lawmakers. Find your legislators by your address or county here.
- Industry associations, like LeadingAge PA or the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.
- Advocacy groups, like the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly at 215-545-5728 or the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania at (717) 236-8110.
If you are interested in installing a camera for communication or monitoring, and you want to know how your loved one’s nursing home handles the issue:
- Talk to an administrator about your concerns.
- Ask for a copy of facility rules and regulations.
- Join the family council and urge your loved one to participate in the resident council.
- Know that there are no state laws against the use of video recording, but audio without consent of all parties is illegal in Pennsylvania.
- It is suggested that you inform the facility administrator of any cameras and obtain consent from both the resident and any roommates.