Surveillance technologies in care homes: Seven principles for their use

Malcolm Fisk

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    106 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to consider the use of surveillance technologies in care homes and the way in which they can help protect older people. It signals an ethical way forward for their use that de-fuses the heightened rhetoric associated with concerns about the abuse. Totally, seven principles are put forward by which the use of surveillance technologies can be supported. Design/methodology/approach - The paper recognises the significance of technological developments and the key part that they now play in helping people live more independently. Surveillance technologies have a part in this within care homes, but there are important ethical considerations - notably around the way in which concerns for privacy are balanced with those about people's safety and autonomy. Findings - The paper points to an approach that can guide the use of surveillance technologies within care homes. The seven principles put forward will be built on through further work in 2015 including care home residents, family carers, formal care providers and others. In setting out these principles the paper mediates between the positions of those who argue the merits of such technologies and those who point to some of them, notably cameras, as undermining people's privacy and the nature of the "care relationship". Originality/value - The subject matter of the paper is important because of the attention being given to problems of abuse in care settings; and the freedom by which anyone can access technologies that can be used for surveillance. The paper is timely and carries substantial originality.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-59
    JournalWorking with Older People
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Bibliographical note

    This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited


    • Care homes
    • Dementia
    • Technology
    • Older people
    • Safeguarding
    • Health care


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