I have now crossed the threshold of being a citizen of the United States and have entered the world of “elderly” folk. That’s what happens when one becomes 83. To be in the eighties is to become part of a world in which the “others”gaze upon your body since it is entering the realm of possible “dementia. We then become “frail,” we then become in need of “assistance,” we become figures to watch “carefully” because we might “hurt ourselves.” Believe it or not, I drive my car to work, am at the college from 8:00 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. and am still active and alive at the end of the day. Doris Racher has a mother in an assisted living program since at the age of 94 things are rather difficult. She demonstrates evidence of dementia and Doris noted that things were missing that had been brought to her mother. She transformed an alarm clock into a surveillance camera. Soon pictures turned up showing her mother, Mrs. Mayberry, with latex gloves shoved in her mouth while members of the staff giggled and had a good time poking fun at the elderly woman. They even threw her on the bed and played with the body.
The question is now whether surveillance cameras can be installed in these “assisted living” units? Or does such cameras intrude upon the privacy of patients or others in the facility? Install them. NO elderly person should be handled in this manner.