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Giving friend advice re video and audio for elderly mother
December 15, 2022
Giving friend advice re video and audio for elderly mother
         An old friend called me today and asked about installing a camera with audio in her mother's assisted living apartment.  Her mother is 101 years old and since Covid has been experiencing things missing from the apartment, door not being locked when staff leaves, and at times staff being unkind to her mother.
          She complained to the administration and they said (verbally) to put in a camera.  I told her to document in writing that they suggested to put in a camera and to include "with audio".
          She is thinking about putting something like a ring camera with audio activated by motion.
          Your thoughts, suggestions, recommendations?
          I am not supplying any equipment or doing any install; just trying to help out a long-time friend.
          What I’m most concerned about, as your lawyer, is your last sentence, because, as I’ve repeated many times, ‘no good deed goes unpunished”.  Keep in mind your old friend called you not just because you’re an old friend, but because she recognizes you as an expert in the alarm and security business, which BTW, you are [fire too].  So yours is not some random opinion that is being solicited.
          You’re now soliciting my opinion, and I assume it’s because you think [right or wrong depending on your view of things] that I’m the legal expert on the matter. 
          I assume the mother is in New York, a “one party state”.  The mother herself, or through her caretaker daughter, is consenting to the video and audio, and it’s her residence.  It’s legal, both audio and video, which can be viewed, monitored and if handled properly, introduced into evidence in court.  Also sounds like the mother is in a facility and the facility will probably have to consent to any security measures.  [one of those teddy bears with a camera inside is likely fine since the mother is giving consent]
          While I’m not the security expert, you might suggest that video and audio monitoring on a professional level is available and far more protective.  Sounds like the apartment also needs access control administration and monitoring.  You might also suggest that some daughters might also insist on round the clock trusted aides who might be willing to wear body cams …..  it all gets down to the security budget. 

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301