A bill that would allow loved ones and legal guardians to put cameras in nursing home rooms, allowing them to monitor the treatment of the resident, is making significant progress in the Ohio legislature.
SB 58 provides that as long as the resident’s guardian or attorney fills out a form notifying the nursing facility they will be placing a camera in the resident’s room, and as long as the resident’s guardian or attorney installs and pays for the camera out-of-pocket, they may proceed with monitoring the resident’s room.
The bill passed the Ohio Senate unanimously, and is quickly making its way through House committees.
The bill is also called Esther’s Law, named after the mother of Steve Piskor.
In 2011, Piskor, suspecting abuse, placed a hidden camera in his mother’s nursing home room at a facility run by MetroHealth Medical Center.
He said at the time that he had noticed suspicious bruises on his mother’s body, and that her demeanor had changed. She had become quieter.
On the hidden camera, he caught eight incidents of abuse from the nursing home staff.
Two aides went to jail for the abuse. Three other aides were fired, and three more were disciplined.
“Anybody’s that’s walked the path with their own parents as they age understand the need for special protection as people get older,” State Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), a co-sponsor of the bill, said when it was first introduced in late 2019. “Not only is it important today, it’s going to be important tomorrow.”
The bill did not gain much traction in 2020, as the Ohio legislature dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
But now, it’s sweeping through the legislature.
Pisker celebrated the progress on Twitter on October 9.
“Esther’s Law is coming to Ohio,” he said. “This groundbreaking legislation is Ohio’s first for stopping abuse. It will allow residents to put a camera in their nursing home room. Families will be able to monitor their daily care.”
— Steve Piskor (@gypsyviolins) October 10, 2021
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, 10 other states across the country are working on similar legislation.
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