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Rep. Brent gives sponsor testimony on Esther's Law, legislation to prevent elder abuse and protect Ohio seniors

April 15, 2021
Democratic Newsroom

Today, State Rep. Juanita O. Brent (D-Cleveland) provided sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 78, Esther’s Law, which would allow residents of long-term care facilities to electronically monitor their room.

“Esther’s Law is an important bill that will keep Ohio seniors safe,” said Rep. Brent. “This bill isn’t about getting people in trouble, it’s about protecting our loved ones. Especially in the last year with the pandemic, many long-term care residents have been isolated from their family and friends. By allowing residents the option to put a camera in their room, it not only can prevent abuse, but it can also deter theft and allows for another set of eyes on the resident. That gives both the resident and their family peace of mind.”

“These individuals are our moms, dads, grandparents, friends and fellow Ohioans. To live, work, and retire with safety and security is a part of the Ohio Promise, and it is on us to do our part in protecting our seniors. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this important legislation.”

In the legislation, the installation and use of an electronic monitoring device may be authorized only if both of the following conditions are met:

(1)    The resident or the resident’s guardian completes the necessary form and submits it to the residential facility. 

a.       The Director of Developmental Disabilities shall prescribe a form for use by a resident seeking to authorize the use and installation of electronic monitoring device in the resident’s room.

(2)    The cost of the device, the cost of installation, maintenance and removing the device is paid for by the resident or resident’s guardian.

Esther’s Law is assigned to the Ohio House Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee and awaits further hearings.