Under legislation approved unanimously by the Oklahoma House of Representatives, families of nursing home residents will be able to monitor the care of their loved ones.

Senate Bill 587, by state Sen. Ron Justice and state Rep. Harold Wright, would require nursing homes to allow cameras to be placed in the rooms of residents without penalty or retribution. The consent of the resident or a family member would be required for the placement of the camera to ensure the protection of resident privacy rights.

“Even with safety measures in place, nursing home residents are vulnerable to abuse because they are not always able to defend themselves nor speak out when abuse occurs,” said Rep. Wright, R-Weatherford. “The unanimous approval of this bill is a sign of the hard work of AARP-Oklahoma, the Silver-Haired Legislature and countless aging advocates.”

AARP-Oklahoma is a supporter of the legislation.

“Today, we applaud the Oklahoma House of Representatives for overwhelmingly voting for this legislation,” said AARP-Oklahoma State President Marjorie Lyons., Tuesday. “This measure is an important step toward protecting Oklahoma’s most frail and vulnerable citizens – nursing home residents – by allowing them to use video cameras for increased safety. We greatly appreciate Rep. Wright for his steadfast advocacy on behalf of this crucial measure and we urge the state Senate to adopt the House amendment to Senate Bill 587 and send this measure to Governor Fallin.”

Senate Bill 587 will return to the Oklahoma Senate, where they can choose whether or not to accept House amendments. If amendments are accepted, it will proceed to the governor’s desk.