Nursing home residents under video surveillance, even in their rooms? This will be possible, but under extremely restrictive conditions, warned the National Commission for Information Technology and Liberties (Cnil) in a notice published on May 2. In detail, what will these conditions be?

Only fears that an elderly person will suffer violence will justify such a device being placed in their room. Repeated bruises, unexplained injuries, malnutrition… this type of trace can point the way to a case of abuse, unfortunately far from being rare in specialized establishments, or even among those who remain at home.

The installation of cameras to “improve comfort” or even prevent falls or accidents is not permitted.

In case of doubt, the CNIL indicates that it will be permitted to place surveillance cameras only if the following two steps have been followed:

Once all these conditions have been met, accommodation establishments for the elderly will not be able to install cameras as they wish, nor use the data as they wish.

Once the previous conditions are met, video surveillance must be limited in time. During visits from relatives, the cameras must be deactivated, unless they are the ones suspected of abuse, specifies the CNIL.

In addition, the persons concerned must give their consent, and if they are not capable of doing so, the rules governing the protection of adults apply.

One of the recommendations, as legitimate as it may be, seems complex to achieve on a practical level. Indeed, the CNIL asks to “blur as far as possible, the private parts of the person concerned when the care provided to them is carried out in their bed”.

Rules also apply to the organization of the establishment concerned. The latter must establish the system in consultation with the families (if the request comes from them), present its project to its Social Life Council and inform its employees. They will need to be made aware and trained to manage these systems. Finally, an impact study must also be carried out once remote monitoring has been implemented.

Mistreatment in nursing homes was highlighted in 2022 with the publication of a book on this subject. An employee of a private group gave her testimony to Planet.