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I went to visit my 91 y.o. mother with alzheimers/dementia and other physical ailments. She currently is a resident of Delaware. She resides in my brother's home and she has 24 hour caregivers which are paidfrom my mother's funds. My brother has POA. I discovered that my visit with my mother in her bedroom without anyone else present was both filmed and recorded. I did not give permission and given my mother's condition, I sincerely doubt that she gave permission either. Does anyone have any thoughts concerning my brother's belief that he has the right to film all that goes on in her bedroom given he has her POA? He also has his housekeeper sign for mail restricted to my mother using my mother's name. Thanks, Chad

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I undestanding your mom is haveine 24/7 care. Is this from hospice? As far as the legal papers go/ as I stated before. If she sign the apers after she was ill they are not legal. A Durable power of attorney if a better legal piece of paper. It protect mom and also the care giver. There should also be a back up in case the other person can not be there. Also make sure that the health epoxy or DNR is completed if that something you want. With my mom even though I had all legal paper work she needed. When she wass losing blood at the end just last year they force me to have two test. Once I did agree because the the hospital told me they will could take me to court. I told them I knew she was dieing and bleeding internal. the placed a tube down her troat, and told them want they would find. They also wanted to place a feeding tube and do a full barium. I said No Way. Let her die with some diginity an go to the asssting living. Of which the home allowed /Florida state elder car was involved. My mom had it in writing no feeding tube or doing ay specil surgial test on her body if something went wrong.She did need three pints of blood, I was also ordered to have that done. was her time. She died in three day after leaving the hospital. i receive a phone call from the fire dept, they told what was going on, you see the asssisiting living wanted to send her back to the hospital, but the Fire dept told she was going fast and they would keep her on oxygen until I got there. All her vitals were failing. You can not trust anyone, check on your loved one, and get with elder care if you think something is being done wrong. take care/
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Great post Mia, so true, we should all be acting as if the world is always watching us . I think this brother is taking great care of his Mom and is doing it for her protection. I also had an incident where the caretaker told me "my Mom was abusing her" I didnt believe this could be my Mom until I watched the tapes and she was correct, my mom was trying to hit her!! We got her on new medication and it stopped, boy am I glad I had the camera on that day and we now laugh about it, she turned out to be the best caretaker I have. So, until you take care of someone fulltime, even if you work outside the home also, you cannot judge anyone's motives. The continual stress, the sleepless nights, the dr visits , mood swings , wet beds, diapers, along with juggling of different medications and caretakers is unexplainable and almost unbearable, we dont have to put up with it, but guess what, we do because of a stong bond of love. If your brother didnt deeply love you Mom, he wouldnt be doing this. No amount of money is making your brother or anyone else take on this huge caretaking job. This is a priceless, thankless job in more ways than one, but we live with clear a conscious that we did everything possible out of pure love. Amen
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As I understand it, it is NEVER okay to sign someone else's name, for mail or anything else. It is forgery. If you have some legal right to represent the other person, then you sign YOUR name, and then a brief description of your type of authority (e.g. POA).
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I have read through the responses here, and since I have been on both sides of this 'issue' it seems I am compelled to put in my two cents in.

When Mom was here with me I used 'camera's to keep an eye on Mom so she could feel independent and yet I could still 'see' what she was doing. There were many ways this helped me. I could tell when she woke up in the middle of night, the 'motion detector' would turn on the tv in my room and I could 'check in' with Mom without disturbing her. I could tell when she was anxious without hovering over her ALL the time. I could tell when she was scared, and offer my support. I could tell when she was NOT in the mood for company and I left her alone (for a while). I could 'remind' her that there WAS water in her room, and that we DO love her, and that she WAS safe and not alone.

This provided me with 'insights' to her anxieties and concerns. "They took my ....... (fill in the blank)!" A common problem with Alzheimer's. A quick 'review of Mom's activity in her room would show that the "...." was in the drawer, purse, garbage, box ELSEwhere in her room. "I am SO hungry... they didn't give me anything to eat today" !!! That meant she was hungry AGAIN, and needed another snack, so she could fall asleep full and happy.

My brother ALSO noticed a camera on one of his FEW visits, and thought this 'observation' was a violation of my mother's privacy too, but I begged to differ. After hearing her tell my 'other' brother that we would put her to bed without supper, or water, or clean bedding' prompted me a NEED to be able to support what was going on. I wasn't being defensive, I was being careful. SO many elder abuse cases start when an untrue statement is made by a sweet little old lady! And it may not be the fault of the caregiver at ALL! (hired or family).

As far as being 'filmed' "I" was on these films too, and I learned more about myself sometimes than I did about my mother. After careful review of some 'daily activities' early into my caregiver capacity, I noticed that "I" wasn't being as patient as I could have been, or as 'responsive' as I could have been. I also learned what annoyed my mother when she thought I wasn't watching. Boy did I learn quickly what worked and what didn't.

I was NOT spying on my mother, I was NOT posting video of her escapades on You-Tube. I was learning how to deal with her Alzheimer's and also how to protect myself from what could easily have been a family feud on how I was caring for my mother while she was here with me.

Did I have the camera going 24/7? Nope... do I wish I would have? YES!! Now that my mother is gone, I actually would welcome just seeing her doing anything!

I know many people are intimidated by cameras, but believe me, after a few days, even the person that installed the camera 'forgets' the camera is there. And just be yourself! There's no director/producer there telling you what to do, just do what you would normally do.

My brother would GOAD my mother when she was in his care, and then 'film her' while she was having a meltdown. He would take a camera out and FILM her, telling her that SHE was being mean, etc. THAT was cruel. I never did that.. I truly intended it to be a good tool.

I honestly believe that if cameras WERE allowed in nursing homes, there would be MUCH MUCH less abuse and neglect than what we are seeing now! Even in FIVE star places, there is room for improvement!

In my humble opinion, it's not an invasion of privacy that nursing homes are afraid of, it's LIABILITY for the (lack of) care they are providing! I think we should ALL behave like the world is watching ALL the time. Maybe that would make us kinder, and more accountable for our actions.

I do not know your brother's intention for filming your mother, but I also applaud him for recording her care when there is an outside caregiver involved. SO many of the best caregivers (unintentonally) ignore or neglect their charges, and we would NEVER know. Advising a caregiver that they are being monitored is morally suggested (if not legally) but if they have a problem with that, then they should NOT be caring for your loved one. With Alzheimer's we can't rely on our 'loved one's' recollection of how they were treated.

Talk to your brother about his reason. Ask if "his" interactions with your mother are also recorded, and ask if you can 'review these tapes. You may see that there is nothing wrong with this practice, if it is done for the good of your mother!!!

Not an easy topic to discuss... but one worth discussing!
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Every seems to agree, that great. It is terrible in this world we live that sometimes we have to try and trust others to help us out with care giving when we need assistance. Most of time there name or agency is given by a good soucre. The state, doctor or even a hospital. You can not trust any one. One time I went into new York on a surprise visit when my mom was in the hospital, ( you see every time I called they could not find her). I live in Florida and mom was New York. So my job at the time had me on the employee assistance program since I also had some major health problems and I was my mom's legal rep and caregiver she fell under the rules. I got on a flight the next day. and went into the hospital as a surprise visit with my uncle. All dressed up in a suit &* they thought I was some big shot from the hospital in for a meeting. When I told them who I was and asked where my mom was I was told she was in her room. This was a rehab nursing home, Mom was not in her room and I had found three medical braclet's near her bed (all with her name on it). You see she was riding the elevator. Well I took her home to her house and stay until she was a little better and got the state of New to help me out. We all must have stories. Sorry for the long message. But no one understand what we even go though trying our best to take care of someone we love/who can not take care of themselves anymore.
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i would not want to have someone film me 24-7 . i wouldnt know how to act .
i can understand if u think shes begin mistreated one way or another then i would have that camera on her and caregiver till u find nothing s wrong then it should be shut off .
24-7 just for the hell of it , its crazy ...
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Yes , it's legal if you scrolled down, but not legal in all states to record "Voices". I suggest you google and call an attorney on this. No one can follow up and check on a caregiver and know if they are truely good or not. People can act like that are great, and are full of it, all for show and not be good. There might be a sticker on the home someplace telling you, but if not, whats to hide?
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I think folks have misunderstood my question. My issue specifically mostly relates to speech and expression and, is it right for anyone to listen in on a conversation without invitation or disclosure. There is the related issue of filming. I think privacy must be presumed. If denied it really should be with reason, proven reason. If physical abuse is expected, fire the caregiver. If you are uncomfortable in any way, fire the caregiver. As in a business, you with the POA have the responsibility to act for the person needing care just as the person would reasonably be expected to act in the situation. I sincerely believe that the POA has the responsibility to manage and act in a timely fashion including setting the expectations and following up to ensure the proper care of the person needing care. I should have the right to talk with my mother without my brother, the POA, listening in on my presumed private concersation with my mother.
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The article presented by luvmon DOES NOT state that it is legal in all 50 states. Recording where there is an expectation of privacy is likely illegal in all 50 states. Further, if there is a requirement that one or both parties must be informed based upon venue, that law must be followed. At the very least, there is an argument that parties should be made aware of the possibility of recording. The law seems to be less than clear in all regards. Legal advice should be sought in the jurisdiction as case law likely will play alongside the codified laws of the US and the respective state.
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Ted, you're right on, thats it in a nutshell. No one should be doing or saying anything wrong to begin with, but we have to make sure. I fired a woman for sleeping on the couch while my Mom was walking around alone. SHE was the only one I hired from an agency too!! Oh she seemed just "so nice" on the outside. ugh
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I can type it out word for word right here if you would like.
But I don't think the filming WOULD be happening unless there was a danger of abuse by caregivers or anyone else, (which I think we all know is way too common.)
Why else would the money be spent to install them?
Again, I say that respect for the privacy of all involved is a priority, but that the safety of the vulnerable trumps that, in my opinion.
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Ted do you know exactly what the POA says. I agree with everyone that filming shouldn't be happening unless she's in danger of being mishandled by her caregivers, God forbid. If she is lucid, I'd talk to her about it, POA's doesn't come into effect unless your mother is unable to make decisions for her self. My Mom was able to sign for herself up until the day she passed, even her handwriting wasn't affected by how sick she was.
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That is not right. Your mother deserves privacy. Her dressing and bathing should not be filmed. Caregivers and mother must be made aware of this situation...so they can ensure her privacy. Caregivers would be a little uneasy about the filming, but would also be careful to not do anything unappropriate because of it. They would then be able to ensure your mothers modesty.
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Okay, Just got a response from LEGAL-'Mindingourelders' wrote;
"There may be state laws that come into play, here. I'd ask an elder law attorney or some attorney who knows your state laws.
You should be able to, but in some states you may not.
Be safe - especially if you have a bad relationship with siblings.
Carol"

I can see where it would have heavy jurisdiction implications.
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Chad, Good research, I'm a little surprised this hasn't come up before and been fully researched. I guess it is one of those situations where there isn't any black and white answer and would depend alot on presumption and all the other variables, and of course there will be a wide variety of plain old opinions.
I still haven't seen a response from the LEGAL section of this site, maybe we're breaking new ground here?
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Exactly , "unless there is suspicion" and there is ALWAYS suspicion when caretakers are in the house . EVeryone is making it sound like there is personal issues in a bedroom, this is for a child or elderly demented person whose caretakers need to be watched. As far as the bathroom where personal issues are taken care of, there is no camera in there, that I understand. I have also seen on TV news stations people robbing homes that had cameras and Nanny's that were hitting children caught, its not illegal and for the safety of the patient.
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Great responses and lotsa great ideas. I checked with the post office concerning someone else signing for restricted mail to my mother using her signature and was told the standard procedure is to check the receiver's signature and if the actual addressee is not available after several attempts, the mail is returned. The postal inspectors and the postmaster were not helpful. They refused to take any action, telling me that I could get an attorney if I wished.
I appreciate all the thought provocative thoughts concerning the issue of filming the elder and their visitors. My gut really says it is wrong to do so without any approval. I have found that some states require both parties to agree and others just require the agreement of one. And there are federal issues requiring some modicum of approval. The POA might be able to approve for the elder which would indicate that the elder can't make decisions for themselves. And, that enters into other legal concerns because they are no longer considered of sound mind. There are laws concerning wiretapping and filming without permission. And, there is the presumption that places like one's bedroom are considered private and should not ordinarily be invaded. I don't doubt that there can be good reason to monitor but what are the controls in place to do it right and within the laws of the jurisdiction. As long as we are human even through burial, privacy is kinda sacred and should be protected. I can see that exceptions might exist but those should be within the laws of the jurisdiction. All on this site have the elder needing care in their best interest. We want to do the right thing. Sometimes, we just need some advice and perhaps support. Thanks
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No. No one has the "right" to film another person in their bedroom under any circumstance, except if there is suspicion that a crime is being committed.
Call the local police and report your brother. A POA does not grant this type of behavior. Guardianship MAY give a guardian rights, but not filming a person in their own bedroom.
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LME, I had problems also with various phone scams that prey on the elderly and the best thing I did was to cahnge the phone numbers (More than once) and change the address by getting a PO BOX.
But back to the original question;.
Privacy? good. Cameras?, good also.
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I am sorry to say that I also told my caregivers no texting or being on the phone while driving, etc and not to talk to daycare about anything regarding her, thats up to me. I have told them not to leave her unattended for a minute as she could fall, guess what the cameras show? They do all of the above, but still do a great job and good help is hard to find.
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I have never used a camera, but I did record my mother's phone calls years ago, which, at the time, could have caused legal problems. Mom had Alz and sweepstakes companies would call her and tell her she won if she would send $1000. I had POA over her finances, so when she would write a check in an amount over $500, I would put a stop payment on it. Also, I would not enable by not buying stamps. When she broke her back and had to go to a facility for rehab, since she was living in my home, I changed the phone number to an unlisted one and added her to by PO box. That took care of the sweepstakes problems. Currently I have an aunt with several caregivers. I leave no money in her apartment and her meds are not out in the open. The aids are not permitted to use her phone or theirs or text or anything like that while on the job. I stop in all the time while they are there, just to make sure things are OK. The only thing any of them do is to talk to her of their personal lives, which they are not permitted to do, but they get their work done, so that is what counts.
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also, as any caregiver knows, sometimes the dignity and privacy of EVERYONE in the house is secondary to the proper care of the care recipient.
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I have seen news programs where care workers have been convicted in court for abuse caught on secret cameras. I assume if they were illegal, that evidence would not have been admitted in court
also, I have posted the question to the "experts" in the section of this site labeled "Legal". I'd like to get a definitive answer.
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Are you telling us that taking the best care possible of our parents ot spouses by using a nanny cam isnt showing respect, because thats for their safety. My moms wishes would to remain independent but if she could understand the situation she certainly would want this safety precaution in place, as would I. Putting your mother in a home, you cannot possibly understand what its like to have strangers in your house. Wether the CNA has a background check in place or not, you cannot trust anyone not to hurt, or neglect your parent. This IS gviving respect and dignity to our parent . I could have put my mom in a home years ago due to her severe mood swings but I keep her home, where she is safer, and more loved. I also work fulltime when she is at daycare, also on a Cam, and my second job is to pick her up after work and take the best care of her as I can for as long as she lives, she is spoiled and its well deserved for being such a great Mom to me before I married 30 years ago. I would have no problem if anyone I knew had a nanny cam on, as I have nothing to hide.
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I was my own mother's power of attorney/ I followed all the legal laws that are in effect. NO one has the right to be filmed, and your brother does not have the right to have anyone sign for her. A caregiver means a person who respects the person wishes and gives that person the care and diginity they deserve. I was chosen by my own mom and followed her wishes. The only one I could not follow was when she got so sick with the dementia, and in and out of hospital her last years. I could not bury the way she wished. I brought her to Florida from New York, to live with me. I took her out of a NY nursing home of which her doctor placed her. Not knowing how bad she was. I was very lucky I looked for a assistig living before all plans were done in case I needed day care. I found a beautiful place in Florida and was bless with good caring people. She had a nice room/good food/ but she had to stay 24/7. she became too mean for me to handle. My mom was always checked on both the State of Florida edler care people. you need to call elder care first. make visits, don't tell anyone you are coming at different times. You must have a key or pass. But get with a lawyer and have him check out things. My own brother abused my mom for years from he was leaving off her jumping from woman to women has a grown man. I stoped that, and also the lawyer who wrote up her will took care of that in the durable power of attorney /legal heath care giver/ I was legal rep and only one on her will. She did all of this before she was ever and I was working with a company that paid most of the cost. Please don't wait long, take care of the problem you seem like you care vey much what is going on. But like another person stated he is the legal power of attorney. But is he the Durabkle power of attorney. There is a differnce in most states.
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I am just curious, why would it be for anyones benefit other than the parents we are caring for? I do hope legal authorites make a comment here too.
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I know, but unless specified for her signature, the post office allows someone else to sign for them, like if you got a package sent to your neighbors, they would sign for you. Check with the postmaster.
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Just make sure any steps you make are for your mother's benefit and not yours, she's your main concern. You got some good answers here. Write the editor and see if you can get any where with extra help.
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Chad--you seem to have some very good reply's on this issue---Perhaps I was too quick to respond about the camera's---However---if it is indeed for the protection of your Mom-from what the caregivers may or may not be doing-I then think it is quite understandable--So I guess in the big picture-you need to ask what the purpose of the camers are. Caregiving can be very tiring and trying on many people---been there-and done that, So before taking any action, I would confront your brother on this.
As for the situation on the restricted mail signed by a housekeeper-I would still persue the legality of this as I had indicated previously.
Your concerns I think are very real-and need to be addressed-so you can move on.
Best~
Hap
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Actually, that's a great idea, I wonder if the website would consider enlisting some legal types to do some pro bono work here when we have dilemmas and questions like this. Maybe they could be on live one or two nights a week for a couple of hours to answer questions as best they can.
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