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As a practical matter, when it comes to a resident's family members, they often resort to using granny cams when they suspect the resident's health or safety is at risk.

Facilities may better meet these family members' needs by implementing policies and procedures to improve communication and engagement between staff, resident and family.

There are a number of available options, such as enabling residents to video chat with family members, creating shared calendars that family members may view, and investing in software that allows family members to securely text staff, request resident pictures and updates, or even view a resident's activity through digital records that staff members create.

Texas requires residents installing cameras to post notices outside the door of their room to let those that enter know that they are being recorded.

Currently, only New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Washington have laws granting individuals the affirmative right to install surveillance cameras in their nursing home rooms.

Those in favor of the electronic devices argue that cameras would allow family members to monitor the care being provided.

If any abuse by an employee was recorded, then he or she could be terminated.

I know there are state-specific laws, but what can we do generally to keep “granny cams” out of our facility? The use of silent video surveillance in nursing homes, or “granny cams,” is a source of continuing debate.

Currently, there are no federal laws either prohibiting or specifically authorizing their use in residents' rooms, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not issued a specific policy on the topic.

It is up to the states and/or each facility to decide how they want to address granny cams.

Many states have attempted to pass legislation on the issue, but only a handful have succeeded, including, for example, New Mexico and Texas.

Families seeking to discover what happens to their loved one when they’re away have increasingly turned to using “granny cams.” Similar to nanny cameras used by parents to keep a watchful eye on their children, electronic surveillance cameras have been used by some families in nursing homes to observe their family member.