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Illinois law allows nursing home residents to install surveillance equipment

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Aug. 21 supporters say will help prevent abuse and neglect of nursing home residents. The Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act allows nursing home residents to install audio and video surveillance equipment in their rooms.

Residents and their roommates must consent to having video or audio recording devices installed. The act allows legal guardians and family members to give consent for residents, if a physician determines a resident is incapable of doing so. Consent can be withdrawn at any time by residents or their roommates.

Special provisions

According to the Illinois General Assembly website, the surveillance equipment would be installed at the resident’s own expense and must be positioned in a “conspicuously visible location.”

The law requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to establish a $50,000 fund for purchasing and installing the equipment, which will be dispersed every year, via a lottery, to residents who cannot afford it. Monitoring systems can run from about $200 to $1,000, according to a Feb. 13 Chicago Tribune article.

The law also establishes legal penalties for hindering the installation of, obstructing or destroying electronic monitoring equipment, and contains provisions that include notifying visitors of electronic monitoring and limiting facilities’ access to the recordings.

The IDPH receives about 19,000 calls alleging neglect or abuse each year and investigates about 5,000 of them, according to the Tribune article. “I look at this as a measure that’s going to be there to protect our grandparents, our parents, but ultimately one day all of us are going to have to rely on somebody watching over us to make sure we get appropriate care,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in the article.

The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2016. Illinois is the fifth state to enact such a law. New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington have laws requiring nursing homes to allow residents to install electronic monitoring devices, according to the Tribune article.

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By | 2015-08-26T15:47:40-04:00 August 26th, 2015|Categories: Nursing News|5 Comments

About the Author:

Sallie Jimenez
Sallie Jimenez is content manager for healthcare for from Relias. She develops and edits content for the blog, which covers industry news and trends in the nursing profession and healthcare. She also develops content for the Digital Editions. She has more than 25 years of healthcare journalism, content marketing and editing experience.


  1. Avatar
    J. Long November 15, 2017 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Outside of video surveillance, can we video tape a resident in some of her daily activities at the nursing home?

  2. Avatar
    Cell Beat May 30, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    It’s a good idea for nursing homes to have surveillance equipment installed since people there needs care and needs to be insight almost all the time because you never know what can happen when.

  3. Avatar
    eye mask February 16, 2019 at 10:40 am - Reply

    if you’re installing wireless security cameras yourself, you want the option to view them remotely. Not all cameras provide remote control and sneak peeks. It’s easy enough to make sure that you are buying a camera that includes remote access. However, one thing you should look into is how you’re going to actually access that camera. Looking to view real-time video from a web browser? Make sure that’s an option. Even more importantly, check to see if that camera supports your smartphone/tablet platform. Some cameras work with iOS devices, some work with Android, and some work with both. Unfortunately, not as many work with BlackBerry and the Windows Phone. Make sure to read the fine print!

  4. Avatar
    Mark March 24, 2020 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    That is a good idea because we don’t know what will happen to them. It’s a way to protect their family and but it’s much better if there is a negotiation between two parties.

  5. Avatar
    Lyman Austin Howard July 27, 2020 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    We have installed an Alexa Echo Show in my Wife’s Room at a Long Term Nursing Facility. She has Gillian Barre Syndrome and is 95 % Paralyzed and can do nothing for herself except Hear and Speak. The Facility is demanding that we turn the Device off when one of their Employees: Nurse, CNA, Dietary, Housekeeping, Etc. are in the room working with her or doing anything. Since this Law implies that it can be used to check on the Treatment of my Beloved Wife, can they legally do make her turn it off or disconnect a Call?

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