(WKBN) – Governor Mike DeWine signed a law Wednesday that allows cameras to be installed in nursing homes.
Senate Bill 58 known as Esther’s Law is named after Steve Piskor’s mother who was a victim of elder abuse.
“My mother was abused. It’s been over 10 years now, and we got the letters, I got the legislation that was used in 2019,” Piskor said.
Then the pandemic happened and the legislation failed, but it was reintroduced earlier this year and has since passed.
“It’s amazing after so long of trying. I mean, I pushed so many people to the max. I probably got so many people mad at me, but in the end, I think a lot of people realized how much this was needed,” Piskor said.
The cameras aren’t a requirement, and if a resident has a roommate, the roommate has to agree to it being installed.
“Maybe just pointing the camera at the person that wants it and maybe setting the sound off or whatever agreement they want to come to,” Piskor said.
This law is geared to the most vulnerable, but during a pandemic, it might make it easier for families to see their loved ones.
“Residents in nursing homes with dementia or Alzheimer’s, residents who can’t tell us what’s happening, and that was the same with my mother, she couldn’t tell me what was happening,” Piskor said.
Following the signing of the bill, AARP released a statement congratulating Piskor. The agency said, “On behalf of our more than 1.5 million members statewide, we thank Governor DeWine for his signature to enact Esther’s law. This law provides additional peace of mind, a gift for family caregivers and long-term care residents this season.”
Continuing Healthcare of Lisbon released the following statement:
“We understand that cameras may offer families some measure of comfort, however, they aren’t the answer to ensuring quality care in nursing homes. We have extensive policies and procedures in place to protect our residents and pride ourselves on the quality of care we provide. We have always encouraged residents and families to bring any concerns to us so they can be addressed immediately. Having a camera in a room will change very little for us.”Continuing Healthcare of Lisbon
“So I just asked people to use it, you know, and we have to get the word out to let people know that this law is there,” Piskor said.