The South Australian Government announced they are trialling the use of CCTV cameras at two aged care facilities in SA; their aim is to enhance the safety and wellbeing of residents.
This simple ‘yes/no’ question was posted on our facebook page and sparked a whirlwind response from the wider community, receiving over 400 comments and 50 shares. Honestly, we are not surprised that this hot topic turned into a series of stories and opinions with a strong resounding answer to the posed question.
The answer? Yes! A big fat yes was the answer for almost 90 per cent of those who engaged in the post, but they didn’t come without their asterisks and ‘what ifs’. It made us question exactly why people were so passionate about having CCTV installed in aged care facilities, with take away themes surrounding privacy, dignity and consent.
The quest for reassurance
Placing a loved one into care stirs so many emotions. My family knows this only too well. Like thousands of others, we faced the agonising decision to transition loved family members into a care home. The guilt, the worry and the anxiety are palpable. This natural concern is only exacerbated by the systemic issues that have been highlighted by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Given this, it is unsurprising that the appetite for CCTV is overwhelmingly high. However, I can’t help but wonder, is CCTV the best path to creating an environment of transparency, trust and confidence in care?
Is it the answer to alleviating worry, guilt and anxiety when placing your loved one in care?
CareApp now connects 30,000 people around Australia, providing families with the much sought after personalised and reassuring window into the care and wellbeing of their loved ones. In a similar way to how schools and childcare providers use easyto-use parental communication apps for keeping up to date, CareApp allows aged care providers to record and share photos, video/audio, as well as notices, events and newsletters. It also enables live video chat between residents and families and helps to create memorialisation videos as a beautiful way to remember valued residents and thank the family for being a part of your community. Imagine being a family member at work, your phone beeps and you see a photo or video of your beautiful Mum engaging in the activities she loves.
“That was so good to see Mum having a great time singing after bingo.”
“I think CareApp is great! I really appreciate seeing the photos of Dad enjoying the gardens and activities.”
“Thank you for sharing photos of Mum and her activities. It always picks me up to see her even though I’m across the other side of the world. I really appreciate it.”
CareApp began when I sent my Mum this very photo (above) of my Grandad. Look at him! He is up and well dressed, and has colour in his face and sparkles in his eyes. The comfort this gave my Mum was immeasurable. There is no conversation she could have with his care home or any amount of CCTV cameras in his care home that would give her the same level of joy, comfort, and reassurance.
Whatever the answer is, we do know that the appetite for transparency, reassurance and confidence in the quality and safety of care provision is overwhelming. Beautiful care does happen every day. If we created a culture of transparency where quality care was recognised, celebrated and shared, would CCTV be needed?
Just food for thought.
Author: Allison Nikula, Founder and CEO