Smile! – Not in my bedroom (or ensuite)!

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As a way of addressing concerns about the quality of care in Aged Care, there has been a recent public push for the installation of CCTV in resident’s rooms in Aged Care Facilities. Just last week, for example, a Bill was introduced in the South Australian Parliament for just that purpose. I have no doubt it will be a front and centre issue in the Royal Commission as well.

Installing CCTV in a resident’s room would require the request or consent of the resident. Many residents will not be able or capable of doing so because of mental incapacity. They won’t even be able to say no.

Regrettably then, if this groundswell succeeds, many a request or consent for the installation of CCTV in a resident’s room will come from their family and, more particularly, the resident’s enduring power of attorney. Of course, they will not be living in the facility and, according to recent research, they will almost always want it installed.

It got me thinking. Maybe we should be having another look at our Enduring Power of Attorney document. It might be worthwhile considering inserting a clause in it saying something like, “If I lose my capacity, under no circumstances will my attorney request or consent to the installation of any CCTV or other recording device, in any room I occupy in an aged care facility.”

Matter of fact, I think I will change my own Enduring Power of Attorney now to do just that.

Brian Herd

Recognised as one of the leading experts in Australia on elder law, aged care, retirement, estate planning and disability and a regular author, broadcaster and popular presenter on many elder law subjects and issues.