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Minnesota families of nursing home patients press for right to use cameras to monitor care

A new bill strives to balance resident privacy with need to prevent maltreatment and monitor care in senior facilities.  


Photo by David Joles - Star Tribune


In this moment in 2017, Lisa Papp-Richards comforted her mother, Mary Ann Papp, 77, at a nursing home in Bemidji. Papp-Richards said the facility retaliated against her mother after she attempted to install a small camera to monitor her care.


Two years ago, Lisa Papp-Richards tried to install a tiny camera on a cabinet in the room of a Bemidji nursing home where her 77-year-old mother lived. She had noticed a sudden decline in her mother’s health and was concerned.


But facility staff seized the device soon after they found it.


Outraged, the family called the Bemidji police. Later, a facility supervisor asked Papp-Richards to sign a statement saying that “photographic, video and/or audio monitoring” was not permitted, she said.


“What are they hiding?” Papp-Richards asked. “These are vulnerable people, and we should be able to know what’s happening to them.”


Now, after years of deliberation, lawmakers are moving to protect the rights of family members to use cameras to monitor the care of their loved ones.


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By Chris Serres Star Tribune | FEBRUARY 7, 2019 — 12:56AM