A new Edith Cowan University project is exploring the opinions of aged care staff and family members on surveillance cameras in residential aged care facilities.

The project is inviting aged care stakeholders to complete a survey on their views on using closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring systems in aged care home common area and private spaces including bedrooms and bathrooms.

The survey is targeting nursing and personal care staff, allied health workers, non-direct care staff such as managers, people working in reception and hotel services and board members plus relatives of aged car residents.

The project will also include one-on-one interviews with staff and relatives and explore how CCTV can be used to improve aged care resident safety.

Lead researcher Dr Caroline Vafeas said CCTV was one way of monitoring for poor care standards, which the aged care royal commission highlighted many instances of.

“It highlighted an issue that we are not doing as much as we should within the aged care setting to make sure that older people feel safe and secure in their living environment,” Dr Vafeas told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Dr Caroline Vafeas

CCTV can offer “safety and security for both the healthcare professional and the resident in a facility,” said Dr Vafeas, director of undergraduate nursing studies at ECU.

 “If something is said about a member of staff that happens, they would be able to see that the member of staff was totally working within their scope and there wasn’t an issue at all.”

This survey follows a pilot study ECU conducted in 2019 at one aged care facility in Perth which found that family members were more likely to want CCTV in common areas (57 per cent) than residents (38 per cent) and staff (36 per cent).

However, Dr Vafeas said only 48 per cent of family and 25 per cent of residents wanted CCTV in private rooms.

“And only 14 per cent of staff felt that they would be happy with cameras in private rooms,” she said.

Dr Vafeas said she hoped this project would build on the findings from the pilot study.

“We want a wider viewpoint to see whether the pilot was actually indicative people’s thoughts and feelings,” she said.

Dr Vafeas said she is interested in working with an aged care provider to install surveillance cameras to evaluate its impact on care quality and exploring how many minutes of care a resident receives in a day.

These findings could be used as part of staff education and training, she said.

It the joint responsibility of aged care sector to improve residents’ care and security, Dr Vafeas said.

“It’s important that we acknowledge that we need to be doing more in the space,” she said.

The survey is open now and interviews will commence in July, Dr Vafeas said.

Participants can express interest being interviewed at the end of the survey.

Access the survey.

Comment below to have your say on this story. Subscribe to Australian Ageing Agenda magazine and sign up to the AAA newsletter

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Looks like great research and will add to the discussion. I am in interested in why residents aren’t also included as participants where they can contribute?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.