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Some think it's time to film the inside of nursing homes

Seniors should be able to enjoy their golden years with as much leisure as possible. That starts with making sure that people feel safe in their homes, especially group domiciles like assisted-living facilities. Although nursing home abuse and neglect is not especially common, it is enough of a problem that residents and their families are looking for more protections.

Nursing home patients in Illinois and other states are seeking the rights to record the activities inside a facility so they can learn earlier if a person is in danger. The main issue is that neglect can lead to death when a person is unable to care for himself or herself, becoming entirely reliant on clinicians and support staff. Another concern is that unobserved staff may abuse patients.

Abuse could be a variety of activities, including the obvious acts of striking or inappropriately touching a patient or resident in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. It may also include overmedicating or undermedicating people to produce an effect desired by the support staff but not for a medical advantage.

"Many of my residents complained about not getting their medications on time and sometimes not at all," said a nursing home employee. "One resident, who's diabetic, sat with his meal in front of him for two hours before he got his insulin injection. This happened more than once."

An attorney may be helpful to the families of people who may have been abused or neglected in a nursing home environment. Legal representation may help end abusive behavior and exact financial damages for past loss of health or dignity.

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