security camera closeup
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A bill that would set minimum staffing levels and require cameras to be installed at entrances, exits and common areas in South Carolina assisted living communities, is on the verge of a hearing after being introduced last spring.

House Bill 4145, which as written would apply to assisted living communities and other congregate residential care facilities, also would require facilities to continuously monitor the cameras.

And communities would be required to have one staff member for every eight residents during peak hours and one for every 22 residents during off-peak hours. 

The bill was introduced after a resident wandered out of an assisted living community in December 2019, fell and had head injuries. The family of the resident sued Lakeside Place Senior Living and settled the case. The family also asked lawmakers to pursue legislation to require cameras at facilities.

South Carolina Health Care Association President Randy Lee told The State that his organization supports proposals that create a safe and more secure environment for residents. But he said he opposes cameras inside long-term care facilities for privacy reasons. He also raised additional concerns regarding the cost of buying, monitoring and maintaining the cameras, especially for smaller providers.

The South Carolina House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee is expected to set a hearing soon to debate the bill.

Several states have laws mandating that assisted living communities accommodate resident requests to install electronic monitoring equipment in their rooms. Even more states have “granny cam” laws that apply to nursing homes.