Anyone who has ever had a relative move into assisted living or a nursing home knows the fear of having their loved one abused or neglected by the people paid to care for them.
In Oklahoma, that may soon change, as a bill requested by the Silver Haired Legislature and supported by AARP Oklahoma, which has more than 410,000 members and is the state’s largest organization of senior citizens, was recently passed by the state Senate.
The bill, SB-587 would allow nursing home residents to have electronic monitoring devices installed in their private rooms. As well, care facilities would be banned from denying residency to people who want their rooms monitored, or ending a resident’s contract because they choose to have authorized devices installed.
Authored by Senator Ron Justice, the bill specifies that any such devices must be paid for by the resident or their legal representative, but it also requires that all current and prospective residents (or their representatives) be made aware that electronic monitoring is now allowed.
Further, any recording created through the authorized monitoring device must be allowed as evidence in civil or criminal court or administrative proceedings.
SB-587 has now been moved to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for further discussion and an eventual vote.
UPDATE: This bill was signed into law on May 7th.