Security cameras outside a home have become a contentious issue for a Winnipeg couple looking to receive home care for an elderly parent.
Glen Ferris’s mother, Sandra, is partially blind and deaf. She also suffers from bladder issues and has troubles with mobility. When he and his wife Jennifer are at work, Sandra is checked in on by home care workers from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
For a year now, workers have been coming to the couple’s home two or three times a day. That could change, however, after they were told that their security cameras — by the entryway of the residence — needed to be turned off.
Speaking to Global News, Jennifer said taking care of Sandra has been something she just needed to do.
“I do her laundry. I feed her meals every day. I make sure she gets her medications,” she said.
The issue with the cameras meant that, according to Jennifer, they had to be off whenever a home care worker comes in.
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“We said, ‘We have them on for our protection,’” Jennifer said.
The couple said cameras are also in some private rooms, adding that workers had gone in there when told not to. They were told to turn those cameras off. Jennifer also added that no cameras going to her mother-in-law’s room.
“We let them do their jobs,” she said. “We leave them alone.”
For Ferris, the cameras are there for safety. He said he’s questioning why the WRHA’s policy is so strict.
“I even told them they’re not being filmed directly in the room doing the medical service. Which is the same if you go into a doctor’s office, you’re not being filmed inside the doctor’s office. But the hallways are monitored,” he said, adding that he felt it was the same expectation as with the couple’s home.
In a statement to Global News, WRHA said that they “have an obligation to ensure all staff have working conditions that respect their right of safety and privacy. This includes their right to not be recorded while performing their work.”
For the couple, no home care would mean having to juggle caring for Sandra while juggling their jobs.
“You know, we’re in a position where at least we’re able to help my mom,” Ferris said. “What about the situations where (people aren’t) able to? Say, the children live somewhere else?”
As for now, the couple said they’re choosing to get Sandra the care she needs, even if it comes at the cost of some peace of mind.
— with files from Global’s Katherine Dornian.
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