There have been more debates and demands for cameras to be installed in aged care homes around Australia after a recent inquiry into elder abuse.

The cameras would serve the purpose of protecting the growing population of Australia’s vulnerable elderly.

Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) has told a Senate inquiry into aged care abuse that camera installations “should be allowed” to keep personal carers and aged care staff accountable.

“Video surveillance should be allowed in private rooms … with the permission of residents or their families and guardians,’’ they said according to Courier Mail .

“There needs to be greater supervision of residents.’’

Aged care residents are especially vulnerable to abuse, especially if the live with dementia and Alzheimer’s and are prone to confusion.

Here, cameras would advocate for them as evidence of the abuse against them – where it is often the word of the carer against the word of the resident.

The Federal Minister for aged care, Ken Wyatt, has said that while the safety and well-being of older people is a priority, cameras in aged care is a complex issue.

“The quality care of senior Australians is a top priority and the health, safety and welfare of aged care recipients is paramount,” said Minister Wyatt.

“A compliance framework is in place to promote high quality aged care and includes comprehensive quality standards, quality monitoring, complaints management and strong enforcement powers.”

“Video surveillance in aged care settings is a complex issue, requiring careful consideration of its merits for each individual situation.”

“Aged care providers must balance each care recipient’s right to privacy and dignity with the care recipient’s right to live in a safe, secure and home like environment without exploitation and abuse.”

“Approved providers must ensure that the use of any such device is in agreement with the care recipient and complies with the relevant State and Territory legislation.”

OTA have also raised the issues of “chronic understaffing’’ in many aged care facilities.

The cited that many residents were “forced to remain in bed all day’’. Such neglect is also considered as elder abuse and is unacceptable.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) believe that money could be better spent within the aged care sector. Instead of installing cameras, they believe there should be more focus on hiring more staff.

An ANMF spokesperson said; “We do not support the use of cameras in nursing homes, there’s a whole range of issues concerning privacy which cannot be overcome.

“We don’t need money spent on cameras, we need to make staffing ratios law now so there are additional nurses and carers working in nursing homes to ensure residents get the care they need and deserve.”

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