A bill that would allow families to install video cameras in the bedrooms of their loved ones is awaiting enactment by Governor Mike DeWine.

Commonly known as Esther’s Law, Steve Piskor created the legislation after using a hidden camera in his mother’s bedroom to speak out against the abuse in 2011.

“It was just awful watching these videos of her being abused,” Piskor told 21 News. “She had advanced dementia so she couldn’t tell me what was going on.”

Senate Bill 58 is sponsored by Senator Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, and Senator Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware. Several employees were sent to jail in Esther’s case.

The bill would allow families to place their own cameras in bedrooms with the consent of the roommate.

“If a resident wants a camera, he can have one, if he doesn’t want one, he doesn’t have to have one,” Piskor added.

Elder abuse has dramatically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Piskor says it benefits both patients and employees.

“People were falling and AIDS was blamed, because of someone’s fall and if an accident really does happen it will show that an accident really did happen,” Piskor said.

“If you are being watched, it is an attack on your dignity and your privacy,” said Peter Van Runkle, executive director of the Ohio Health Care Association.

The Ohio Health Care Association represents nursing homes. Runkle said that a video recording could actually lead to a misinterpretation of a nurse’s care and that there is a confidentiality issue as well.

“Would you like someone to watch you while you sleep, bathe, eat?” Van Runkle said.

But Piskor is optimistic that Governor DeWine will sign this law. Governor DeWine was the attorney general for Ohio and heavily involved in the prosecution of nurses involved in Esther’s case.

“He started installing cameras in nursing homes and he did it because of the success he had in pursuing my mother’s case,” Piskor added.

21 News has contacted more than a dozen nursing homes across the Mahoning Valley and some say they just don’t know enough about this bill to comment.

Some told us that they could see this turn out to be beneficial for both patients and employees.