Does New Mexico Allow “Granny Cams” in Nursing Homes?


When we place our loved ones in a residential home, we expect them to have the best care.

However, you might not know what’s happening if you live far away from the facility. How can you monitor your loved one when you’re not there? Live-feed cameras, or “granny cams,” can help. But are they legal in the state of New Mexico?

At Barrera Law Group LLC, we know you want the best for your loved one, and a granny cam might be the ideal way to monitor their care and stay connected with your family members. Let us address the question, “Does New Mexico allow ‘granny cams’ in nursing homes?” so you’ll understand whether you can lawfully place one in your relative’s room.

What Is a Granny Cam?

As the name suggests, these cameras are used to monitor the well-being of an elderly relative remotely. Essentially, they’re live-feed video cameras. Family members can use them to keep an eye on their loved ones who may be residing in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or any other long-term care setting.

Many times, family members will use these devices when they’re not able to visit their loved ones on a regular basis. It allows them to check up without physically being there.

With a granny camera, family members can make sure that a resident receives the care that they need. These recording devices are usually placed in various areas around their room.

Why You Might You Consider Installing a Recording Device Like This?

Many families struggle with the decision to place their loved ones in a nursing home. They worry about the quality of care they will receive. There could also be concerns about whether they will be safe and happy in an unfamiliar environment.

With nursing home abuse and neglect in New Mexico being major issues that concern families, these cameras can ensure that their relatives are treated appropriately.

Real-time monitoring allows you to observe how caregivers interact with your loved one. If any issues arise, you can address them promptly with the facility’s administration. This type of monitoring also encourages staff to follow protocols and treat residents respectfully.

Unfortunately, cases of mistreatment do occur in nursing homes. A granny cam can capture abuse, both verbal and even rough handling and neglect of basic needs. This video footage can help families take appropriate action and protect their loved ones.

Along with monitoring, a granny cam can also improve communication between residents and their families. Family members can use the camera to virtually visit their loved ones, talk, and share moments. As a result, they can maintain emotional connections even when physical visits are infrequent. This can reduce residents’ feelings of loneliness and improve their overall well-being.

Privacy Concerns Associated With Having Video Cameras in Resident Rooms

While granny cams can help monitor nursing home residents, privacy issues exist.

One of the biggest concerns is informed consent. Generally, it’s necessary for a resident to provide consent before any installation of a video camera in their room occurs. However, if your loved one suffers from a disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease, they might not have the capacity to consent.

Another concern is balancing privacy and safety. While granny cams can ensure safety, this must be balanced with the other residents’ privacy rights.

Everyone has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their living spaces. For that reason, cameras should not intrude on personal activities, such as dressing, bathing, or using the restroom, unless explicitly authorized.

Data security and misuse are also concerns. Granny cams generate sensitive data. Anyone who uses a device will want to ensure secure storage of footage and prevent unauthorized access. Otherwise, misusing recorded footage, such as sharing it publicly, can violate privacy rights.

Finally, legal implications must be taken into account. Laws vary regarding granny cams, with some states requiring explicit consent and others having specific guidelines. Violating privacy laws can lead to legal consequences.

New Mexico Law and Video Recording Devices

If you’re considering installing a monitoring device, such as a granny cam, in a patient’s room in a nursing home facility in our state, there are specific stipulations, as outlined by the New Mexico Legislature, that you should know about.

  • Before installing the device, you must obtain authorization from the patient or their caregiver. If there is a roommate, you must also get their consent as well.
  • Additionally, you must notify the facility that the device will be installed.
  • The device must create a visual recording with a date and time stamp.
  • The patient must cover the cost of installing and maintaining the device.

If you follow the above guidelines, you can legally install a granny cam in your loved one’s room.

Before you do so; however, carefully review the nursing home contract to ensure that installing a camera does not violate any terms or agreements.

You should also confirm that surveillance cameras are allowed within the facility. Some nursing homes may have specific policies regarding the use of cameras, so you should be aware of these policies before proceeding. You will also want to communicate openly with facility administrators about your intention to install a granny cam.

Remember to ask your loved ones about their privacy preferences. Find out if they have specific times when they would like the video feed turned off, such as when dressing or bathing.

What To Do If a Granny Cam Picked Up on the Mistreatment of Your Loved One

Granny cams can be a great way to check on your loved ones when you live far away or cannot visit regularly. However, sometimes, they can even catch signs of abuse or neglect. If you’ve discovered that your family member is not being treated with dignity and respect, it may be time to take legal action.

At Barrera Law Group LLC, we are always here to answer your questions about any nursing home abuse concerns. Meeting with a lawyer from our office to discuss your concerns is free.