The conversations of life

Ensuring quality care: South Australia to lead Australian-first trial of CCTV in aged care bedrooms


The Federal Government has announced it will invest $500,000 in the year-long trial which will see cameras installed later this year in at least five government-run aged care facilities in residents’ bedrooms with their (or their family’s) consent as well as common areas – but not in bathrooms.

Families will also be able to watch their family members on their phones for three minutes every two hours.

Residents will not know when they are being watched by their family members but will be aware that they will be observed from time to time because they have given consent.

The cameras will be monitored by UK surveillance company Care Protect, which provides surveillance services in residential care in the UK.

How do they work?

The cameras are designed to detect excessive noise and movement and light changes, which then triggers an alert to qualified nurses and social workers who monitor the footage and can check to see if an incident has occurred.

Safety first

The footage will be monitored 24/7 by Care Protect’s office in Ireland with the video and audio kept for 90 days – and monthly reports provided to families.

Many providers already use CCTV in common areas, but its increased use has been shown to improve quality and safety.

A survey on its use in the UK found there had been a 24 per cent reduction in safeguarding incidents such as falls in the last four years. The research also found most staff approved of the monitoring.

It’s an important step.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care has already heard calls for CCTV cameras to be mandatory in all common areas with the option to have it in private areas (with the consent of the resident and family).

Providers are required too make sure their residents to feel safe – will this prove to be another tool to help them achieve that?

A practising aged care physiotherapist for the past 13 years, Jill has worked in more than 50 metropolitan and regional aged care homes. She has also toured care facilities across the US and Africa. She is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff that serve them.

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