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Nursing home resident praises new law allowing cameras in rooms

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PLAQUEMINE - A married mother of four children who recently was left paralyzed from a tumor on her spine said a new law that allows cameras inside nursing home rooms is music to her ears.

The law took effect today and is part of the Nursing Home Virtual Visitation Act, which prohibits nursing homes from retaliating against residents who want to install cameras inside.

Yakina Morgan said she has had multiple issues at the nursing home where she currently is living. She said she filed a complaint a few hours ago with the state because she said her roommate stayed in soiled clothes all night. She believes the law that allows cameras inside the rooms will help keep better track of the residents.

"I think it's essential," Morgan said. "The things that I've seen here and of course my roommate being in her soil from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.... If you don't have a voice you will be mistreated."

Morgan said when staff finally arrived to change her roommate she was met with a miserable mood.

"I told about her not being changed for all those hours," Morgan said. "I told the nurse and kept calling and kept calling, and they came in with an attitude."

Morgan said that is the most recent of the problems that she's experienced. Recently, she said an aide was in the process of moving her so she didn't get a bed sore and she was called a vulgar word.

"Whore. She called me a whore. I said, 'What? That's verbal abuse,'" Morgan said. "You can't verbally abuse me. Are you serious?"

That's why Morgan said she is now speaking up. While the WBRZ Investigative Unit was at the facility today, we requested an interview or to talk to the administrator in charge. We were promised that someone would get back to us, but no one ever did.

"If you have loved ones, I urge you to please check on them," Morgan said. "Put the cameras up. You can see what's going on. If they need to be turned every two hours, or being fed...how they are being changed...you can see it for yourself. If you leave it up to these people it may not get done."

The cameras are voluntary and there are some requirements to install them. Signs have to be posted notifying people of the recording systems, and the patient or their family is responsible for the cost. Roommates would also have to agree to the installation or the nursing home must move them to another room.

According to an AARP article from June 2017, Louisiana ranked among the last in the nation for meeting long-term care needs for the elderly or people with disabilities.

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