By Steve Moran

I was at a conference where a senior living operator asked if we had ever written about nanny cams in resident rooms. In his particular state, the senior community has to allow them. He has two legitimate concerns:

  1. It could be hard to find caregivers to work in rooms where a camera is installed, fearing they could be punished for doing something wrong.
  2. That video can be selectively edited to make people and communities look bad even though nothing bad actually happened.

A Different Way of Thinking

As we were talking, I got to thinking about how when body cams for police officers first became a thing, most officers hated the idea. But over a very short period of time, the officers, for the most part, fell in love with them. It turns out there are a lot of unfair accusations against police officers, and body cams were way more often exonerating them rather than sabotaging them.

Imagine This

Imagine taking the bold step of putting a camera in every single resident’s room (with their permission of course).

  • You then go to your staff and say, “I know how good you are that having a camera on you will only reinforce what a great member of the care team you are.” You also have to agree to and be committed to not using the camera in petty, punitive ways.
  • Then you go to your residents and their families and tell them you are putting cameras in every resident apartment (or making them available) because you are that confident in your staff doing an amazing job.

Here Is What Happens

Here is how it will all play out:

  • Your team will rightly love you more for expressing that level of confidence in them.
  • You may have a few team members who will hate this. That is good. They will leave, and you will be better off for that.
  • As you hire new team members, they will be higher caliber people.
  • Your resident families will brag about how good you are and how courageous you are.
  • The #1 reason people choose senior living is to create more security for themselves and their loved ones. Imagine your marketing team saying to prospects, “We are the only community that is confident enough in the services we provide to have cameras in the resident rooms. As you are looking at other options, ask them if they have cameras in their resident rooms or in their common areas.”

One More Entrepreneurial Idea

To protect everyone, set up a new company that will supply the cameras and warehouse the video, flushing it every 30, 60, or 90 days (or whatever is the right period of time). This would protect both communities and families while providing an additional level of security.