ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A new law allowing cameras inside long-term care facilities in Missouri takes effect next week.
It's a huge win for advocates who say it will help keep seniors and other vulnerable people safe from abuse and neglect.
Marjorie Moore with the senior advocacy group VOYCE championed a measure to allow cameras inside Missouri’s nursing homes, which was signed by Governor Mike Parson into law.
News 4 investigates has covered severe instances of abuse and neglect around the country, though none of those happened at Cedar Hurst, the facility mentioned in our video report.
But even just in day-to-day care, some Missouri families demanded a camera's eye view to their loved ones and until now, they could be denied access to them.
“It is about making sure the residents are safe, well taken care of and getting what they paid for, by themselves and taxpayers,” said Moore.
Though the proposed law was already in the works, the pandemic highlighted the need.
Families couldn't visit and the virus took hold in some facilities.
According to federal data, more than 630 residents in long term care facilities in Missouri have died from COVID-19.
The camera law is set to go into effect September 3rd, but not everyone can hit the record button just yet.
“With COVID-19, its going to be really hard for people to get these placed because we are still in a situation where people can’t come in and out,” Moore said.
Under the law, family or the resident must provide the equipment and the facility is not obligated to provide internet for it. But the facility cannot refuse to have a camera.
If the resident has a roommate, the roommate must also provide consent.