Illinois Okays Camera Monitoring In Nursing Homes

Aug 24, 2015

Questions and fears about quality of care in nursing homes may be assuaged come January. A new law signed by the governor Friday will permit electronic monitoring.

About 76,000 Illinois residents live in nursing homes. That figure is expected to rise as Baby Boomers age.

With occasional reports of abuse and neglect, Attorney General Lisa Madigan says families had come to her, concerned about relatives living in long-term care facilities. She says allowing video cameras will give them peace of mind.


Illinois could join a handful of states that allow cameras to be installed in the rooms of nursing home residents. 

Supporters say it would give families peace of mind to have electronic monitoring of the care their loved ones receive. But there are also concerns, especially when it comes to privacy.

"Nursing homes, a lot of people tend to forget ... that is their home," Hinsdale Republican Representative Patti Bellock said.

Supporters say the cameras would only be installed when the resident or family agrees. They would also have to cover the cost. 

The Illinois Supreme Court's decision to add these two northern Illinois counties to its cameras in courts program is being viewed as a stepping stone for the effort. 


The head of the Illinois' largest organization for lawyers says the group supports allowing cameras in courtrooms. Illinois has been one of only 14 states where cameras were limited or prohibited in trial courtrooms. The Illinois Supreme Court approved a pilot program allowing media coverage in January.  John Locallo is President of the Illinois State Bar Association.  Speaking in Freeport, he says the new policy is another step toward transparency/