N.J. offers cameras to monitor home health care workers

New Jersey Attorney General Chris Porrino unveils the “Safe Care Cam” program. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

New Jersey Attorney General Chris Porrino unveils the “Safe Care Cam” program. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

New Jersey is launching a program to detect abuse by home health care providers.

The state will loan a tiny surveillance camera to anyone who suspects their loved one is being abused by a hired in-home caregiver, said Attorney General Chris Porrino.

“You are inviting a virtual stranger into your home to spend hours with your loved one, sometimes to spend the night, and you really don’t have any idea how they’re going to behave when no one is watching.”

The cameras, which can be hidden in an ordinary household object, are activated by motion detectors. The cameras contain  a microchip that can capture eight hours of video.

“The program is designed to provide people with answers, and it’s also designed to deter those who think they get away with abusing in private the frail or the disabled,” Porrino said.

It’ll be up to residents to determine whether incidents of abuse the cameras record are turned over to authorities for possible prosecution.

Porrino wouldn’t say just how many of those cameras are available for month-long loans, but he believes there are enough to meet demand.

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