Other NJ News

'Safe Care Cam' Program Available to New Jersey Residents Concerned About Abuse

f23959c11b6bc9b190f3_a00009ab8b7bede27e96_IMG_1775.JPG
f23959c11b6bc9b190f3_a00009ab8b7bede27e96_IMG_1775.JPG

TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced a new program designed to ensure that New Jersey residents who suspect their loved ones are being abused by unscrupulous home health care providers have access to the latest technology in micro-surveillance cameras that can easily be hidden to detect abuse and protect patients.

The “Safe Care Cam” program makes micro-surveillance cameras available for free 30-day loans to anyone who suspects their loved one is being abused or neglected by home health aides or other in-home caregivers who spend long hours alone with a disabled or elderly person. The footage captured by the hidden device will either quell people’s fears or provide them with proof that immediate protective intervention is necessary.

“Anyone who suspects a loved one is being abused by an in-home caregiver should not be left to feel helpless or without recourse,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Cameras don’t lie, and the abuses they’ve revealed are shocking.  But a quality micro-surveillance camera is expensive and many people simply can’t afford them. So we’re offering the use of these cameras free of charge to those who wish to confirm that their loved ones are safe and well cared for in their absence. We hope that the Safe Care Cam program will provide peace of mind for family members, while at the same time serving as a strong deterrent and reminder to unscrupulous care providers that we will prosecute their cases aggressively.”

Sign Up for E-News

“Our Safe Care Cam program will empower consumers to become their loved-ones’ front-line protectors against abuse and neglect,” said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “At the first sign of trouble, they can immediately remove their loved one from harm and report the caregiver to the proper authorities.”

Attorney General Porrino unveiled the Safe Care Cam program today at a press conference that included hidden-camera footage of three in-home healthcare providers abusing patients; a 26-year-old bed-bound man on a ventilator who was handled roughly and slapped, a 91-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease who was roughed up while being fed by her caregiver, and an elderly woman who fell to the floor and was ignored by the caregiver sitting beside her.

The shocking footage underscores the mission behind Safe Care Cam - to address the public’s growing concern about caregiver abuse as more and more consumers choose in-home care as a more-affordable alternative to the escalating cost of placing elderly, disabled, or infirm family members in long-term facilities or nursing homes.

For most people, choosing an in-home caregiver is an important decision fraught with concern that the person they’ve hired, no matter how qualified, will mistreat their loved one. And with secretly recorded video of abuse gaining circulation in news accounts and on social media, more and more people are taking a close look at whom they have hired. 

In New Jersey, the growing demand for in-home care has been answered primarily by the state’s Certified Homemaker-Home Health Aides (CHHAs), who work under the direction of registered professional nurses to provide health-related or personal care services in the homes of clients who are elderly, sick, or disabled. In the last decade the number of CHHAs certified to work in the state has increased from 26,618 to 43,506. As the number of CHHAs grows, and more homes open their doors to them, the potential for abuse and other patient-related crimes increases. 

While the vast majority of CHHAs provide compassionate, appropriate care, data indicates that incidents of disciplinary actions against them have been rising. Since January, the State Board of Nursing, which oversees CHHAs, has revoked, suspended, or otherwise disciplined nearly 300 CHHAs for alleged criminal activities on or off the job. Those alleged crimes include criminal sexual contact, assault, theft, and stolen identity. Those statistics represent a significant increase from 2015, when close to 200 CHHAs were disciplined, and from 2014, when nearly 140 were disciplined. While not all of the alleged crimes were committed against patients, they indicate a rise in dangerous behaviors that could put patients at risk.

More and more, individuals who lodge complaints against homecare providers are buttressing their allegations with hidden camera footage, evidence that greatly increases the chance of substantiating allegations of wrongdoing. 
 
Recognizing that quality cameras can run as high as $300, Attorney General Porrino and the Division initiated the Safe Care Cam program to make cameras and memory cards, purchased by the Division, available on loan to consumers free of charge. 

Individuals seeking to participate in the Safe Care Cam program must provide contact and residence information, a copy of their driver’s license or other identification, and personally pick up the camera after undergoing a brief training by Division investigators. Cameras will be available for pickup at Division offices in either Newark or Cherry Hill, and will be loaned for up to 30 days, unless a reasonable request for additional time is made to the Division.

Once the cameras are in place, it will be up to participants to review the recorded footage, which can be played on a television or computer with adapters provided by the Division. It is up to the participant to decide to report any issues of concern to the Division or other appropriate authorities.

Individuals who wish to participate in the Safe Care Cam program can call 973-504-6375and leave a message in a voice mailbox that will be regularly monitored by Division staff responsible for the day-to-day operation of the program. Or they can call the Division on its toll-free line below and follow the voice prompts to leave a message.

Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at http://www.twp.millburn.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/3258 or go ...

Millburn Police Department Investigating Pair of Residential Burglaries

April 3, 2018

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Goldfarb responded to the Union Police Department on a warrant arrest. Robert Kopik, age 41 of Springfield, was placed under arrest on an outstanding criminal warrant and remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility.

On March 28, 2018 Millburn Police Officer Hunt responded to a Quaker Road residence on a residential burglary. The resident reports ...

Letter to the Editor: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a Huge Blow to the Middle-Class

April 8, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_11a7f47d27aa64b07388_mark-kelly-about

Tue, April 24, 6:00 PM

The Venetian , Garfield

Prepared. For Life Dinner with Captain Mark Kelly

Other

Carousel_image_df9894831d33a18d5f90_63acbe0d6361db09daf9_joel-ingersoll-jgphoto-003-1_orig

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

New Providence High School, New Providence

Parent Wellness Series: College Admission Does ...

Carousel_image_de8fa64ac3f48813f5b8_f4a28bb354e48b53f79d_images

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Lenore Raphael Presents Ellington and More at ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_343f4e7d32430a1ca3f1_renoir4

Wed, April 25, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Pierre-August Renoir: The Joys of Life at ...

Cardinal Tobin to Speak at B’nai Jeshurun

April 23, 2018

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, will welcome Cardinal Joseph Tobin on Wednesday, May 2nd at 7:00 pm.  Cardinal Tobin currently serves at the head of the Archdiocese of Newark. Members of the community are invited to hear Cardinal Tobin speak about how Pope Francis is forging a culture of encounter by renewing the dialogue between Christians and Jews.  In the pope’s ...

Middle School Presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

Middle School presents Shrek the Musical, April 27-29

The Millburn Middle School Spring Musical, Shrek the Musical, will be held on Friday, April 27th and Saturday, April 28th at 7 p.m.  A Sunday matinee will be presented at 1 p.m. on April 29th.

Shrek the Musical opened on Broadway in December 2008. It is based on the DreamWorks Animation’s film Shrek and William Steig’s ...

Millburn Road Closures for April 20

MILLBURN, NJ - Parsonage Hill Road closed between Long Hill Drive and White Oak Ridge Road until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Troy Drive closed to all traffic between Lawrence Drive and Troy Lane until approx 4:00pm Officers working

Old Short Hills Road has a changed traffic pattern between Silver Spring Road and Dorison Drive no closures expect possible delays until approx 4:00pm ...