Can I install CCTV at home to keep an eye on my loved one living with dementia?

CCTV can be an effective form of assistive technology. However, there are ethical and legal issues around using security cameras to keep an eye on someone with dementia that must be taken into account.

Families, who worry about leaving a person with dementia alone, often ask us if they can install CCTV cameras at home. Loved ones may want to check on a relative when they are not there, but is this ok?

Like so much in dementia, everyone is different, and each person's situation should be considered individually. But there are some clear legal and ethical issues to think about. 

We can use assistive technology as a way of enabling someone to remain independent. It can also allow people to be safer in their own home for longer.

Yet this does not automatically justify use of CCTV. So, it's worth asking a few questions when thinking about home security cameras.

Can a person with dementia consent to CCTV?

Being able to decide to have CCTV or not is an example of having the 'mental capacity’ to make a particular decision.

The person needs to understand what is being proposed, the practicalities, weigh up the pros and cons, and communicate a decision. All this is covered in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

If the person can make this decision themselves then it is theirs to make and must be respected - even if the family disagree. 

If the person lacks capacity to make this decision for themselves then the decision can be made for them. This can be done by an attorney or deputy, a professional such as a social worker, and in some circumstances, family. 

But the decision that's made must be in the person’s 'best interests'. It must also have regard to the 'least restrictive' option. The terms 'best interests' and 'least restrictive' are from the Act and we explain them below. 

What if the person with dementia cannot consent to CCTV?

In making a ‘best interests’ decision for someone who lacks capacity, the following should be considered: 

  • Whether the person will be able to make the decision in the future. (If they have good and bad days, can the decision wait until a time they can make the decision themselves?). 
  • The person’s own views – it’s important to note that, even if someone cannot make a decision, they may still have an opinion. 
  • The person’s past and present preferences. 
  • Whether all appropriate friends, family and professionals have been consulted. 
  • Whether all the relevant circumstances have been taken into account. 

A decision also needs to have regard to the 'least restrictive' option. There needs to be discussion as to what other options are available and if these are more suitable. 

For example, other forms of assistive technology may be suitable, including pressure pads. These can also monitor when a person leaves or enters the home and can be less restrictive than filming someone. 

If it is decided that there isn’t a less restrictive option, or it wouldn’t work, then the least restrictive way of using the camera must be considered. For example, placing cameras only where needed. 

Cameras should not be placed where someone goes to the toilet, washes, or dresses. If cameras are placed in these areas, social services could also become interested as this may raise safeguarding and/or human rights issues. 

Does CCTV breach the person with dementia’s human rights?

Our dementia advisers are here for you.

Finally, there are wider legal issues that we must acknowledge. The use of cameras in this way does go against someone’s human rights. This is because we all have a right to privacy and dignity. 

Where absolutely needed, in someone’s best interests, this right can be infringed upon, but it needs to be carefully considered.

Families who are unsure should consult with social services before using CCTV.

If security cameras are being provided by a specialist company for care purposes, then they should also help with these considerations. 

If the cameras are recording and storing the information, then it is important to think about: 

  • how this data is stored 
  • who will view it. 

Any recordings will be very personal to the person and so should not be widely shared. If the recordings do highlight abuse or neglect, then this should be shared with social services. 

Any decision made for someone needs to be in their best interests. It must also have regard to the least restrictive option. 

Legally, CCTV does infringe upon a person’s right to privacy and dignity. This means the decision needs careful consideration. It may also need consultation with a professional such as a social worker. 

Like so much else in dementia, it needs to be an individual decision taking into account a range of factors. 

This article was first published on 27 October 2016 and most recently updated on 29 January 2024. 

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You can discuss issues around security cameras, and many more topics, with others on our online chat forum: Talking Point.

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I am 78 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's three years ago. I am on a new drug that may be keeping the disease back, but isn't a cure. I would be happy for my daughters to have a TV link, and it would surely be welcomed by them. It would help them to stop worrying, and warn them when I get worse. To me, closed circuit TV seems a very good thing, and would surely save a lot worrying, not to say visits and phone calls.
My sister and brother fell out with me for no reason a few years ago...then I found out they had both gone for LPA for mums finances and property. I complained and wrote many many times to OPG telling them mum would go along with anything my sister tells her,as she has always been bolshy with mum and mum just wants to keep the peace.ive told the OPG other family members have concerns .but the OPG didn't want to know.i pointed out to them then it was only 17 days between mum signing the LPA ,and when I asked her and her not knowing what on earth an LPA was and getting upset saying she hadn't signed anything. Yet the OPG state she will of had capacity...I said she cant have lost it in 17 days.My sister mainly has always been controlling,but I've always been the one who took mum shopping,days out,hospital and doctors sister took mums bank card a year before the LPA was granted,she also set up online banking for mum 10 months before LPA.mum doesn't have a clue what she has or is being spent.since the LPA went through mum hasnt had as much money so I havent been able to take her shopping,my sister has had my contact details taken off of mums medical accounts so I cant take her for doctors or hospital appointments..things have gone missing from mums ,especially old bank statements paperwork etc and now aged 88 my sister has had a ring doorbell ring camera (in her house) and INTERNET installed what mum has had to pay for yet she doesn't know what they are.i think its very nosey having the camera in the hallway as sometimes when mum comes to the door shes still dressing also makes me not want to take my grandchildren to visit as she will love spying and I don't know where those images are going.i think its disgusting mum having to foot the bill for things she does not want nor need.mum was coerced into the LPA and she is still being coersed and controlled and I cannot believe the OPG gave them all that power after all my concerns,its not going to end well for mum.any advice please?

Hi Karen,

We're very sorry to hear this - it sounds like a very difficult situation to be in. Unfortunately, we can't offer specific advice without knowing more about your circumstances.

We'd strongly recommend calling our dementia support line on 0333 150 3456 to speak with one of our trained dementia advisers. They will listen to more details about your situation and provide specific information and advice to help. You can find more details about the support line (including opening hours and other methods of contact) here:

We hope this helps, Karen. Please do call our support line to discuss this.

Alzheimer's Society website team

Hi my mum has dementia She has cares going in every day mum told me that they don’t do anything when they come round and thay had broken her washer bearing mind I can’t always go with what my mum is saying So I spoken to her about putting a camera in so I could see for myself what is really going on what I have see has rough alarm bells I’ve seen my my just eating salad leaves and putting mayonnaise on it when I spoke to the carers they told me thay that she doesn’t want any thing to eat or them cooking any thing for her My mum has become in content when I said that’s because she is only eating salad leaves and she has to take 19 pills a day I have now got power of attorney The point is if I hadn’t put a camera in I would not have known what the problem was By the way I put a camera in the kitchen only I going to tell the carers to cook a meal and leave it on the side if she eat all well and good It takes me hour half to get to my mums We live in 2022 times have changed and so must the way we look after people It’s not that fact of putting a camera in so you can see what someone is doing it’s seeing what the problems are so people can get the right help they need
Hello My Mum lives in her own flat in London, she is 83 and she has capacity. My Brother has had cameras and recording devices put in her bedroom and living room so he can keep an eye on her. Is this actually legal?

Hi Tracy,

Unfortunately without knowing further information about your Mum's situation, we cannot comment or provide any advice on the matter.

We'd strongly recommend calling our dementia advisers on 0333 150 3456 so they can get more information from you and provide guidance on what to do. Find more details about our Dementia Connect support line (including opening hours) here:

Please do ring our support line to discuss this. 

Alzheimer's Society blog team

Hi, To me having any form of cctv either in a bedroom or bathroom is a no no, as it can be classed as a breach of privacy plus loss of dignity, have you discussed this with family and see how it goes,if that fails then talk to the social worker. But give talking with family a go but as I said, if that fails then you can talk to a social worker, as everyone whether they have dementia or not they have rights. I myself are planning on putting up cctv in the house and I have fully discussed this with my wife who has complex early onset Alzheimer's Dementia (mild to moderate) it was discussed when she was diagnosed aged 55. But the reason behind it is for both of us as have severe epilepsy and so I need to know that she has been safe, but the cameras will only cover the main rooms such as the lounge, kitchen stairs and doors, this is due to be discussed with the social worker before installation.
My uncle is 83 and suffers from dementia and other illnesses he has carers twice a day they do not wash him or cook a microwave meal for him as he says he is not hungry although they have been told to put food on table and he will eat. Lots of stuff gone missing from his flat jewellery money as such. So me his niece has put a camera in his front room not hidden now been told I cannot do this

Hi Georgina,

Unfortunately without knowing further information about your uncle's situation, we cannot comment or provide any advice on the matter.

We'd strongly recommend calling our dementia advisers on 0333 150 3456 so they can get more information from you and provide guidance on what to do. Find more details about our Dementia Connect support line (including opening hours) here:

Please do ring our support line to discuss this. 

Alzheimer's Society blog team

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My father-in-law is 93, lives alone and is very forgetful. He had callers recently which has really worried him - saying he has a water leak - which is untrue (checked with the water company). We wondered about security cameras for outside his property but needs to be something which he has nothing to do with! He worries terribly about anything - he has no formal diagnosis of dementia as yet. So many cameras require internet which he doesn't have. Would be glad of any advice.

Hello Marion,

It sounds like you would benefit from joining our online community. Talking Point is the ideal place for carers and other people affected by dementia to share their personal experiences, and offer advice and support to others going through similar situations. You can browse the conversations within the community or sign up to participate for free:

If you are based in the UK, we'd also suggest speaking with one of our dementia advisers. They will listen to the situation and provide you with advice and support. Please call our Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456. (More information on opening times, and other methods of contact, can be found here:

If you're based in the US, please contact the Alzheimer's Association helpline:

Or if you're based in Canada, please contact the Alzheimer's Society of Canada helpline:

We hope this is helpful for now.

Alzheimer's Society website team

On the subject of cctv weather its recording or not surely after getting consent or acting in their best interests what if you know that 1 of your parents are not getting cared for properly by a care company within their own home? Even after giving your concerns to social work and nothing has gotten done. Where can you go next? Care commission can't help as they don't govern social services, Scotland.
Please help.


Hello Sue, thanks for your comment.

You might like to contact Scotland's dementia charity, Alzheimer Scotland ( as they will be aware of how this can be dealt with in Scotland. Their 24-hour Freephone Dementia Helpline is 0808 808 3000.

Also, if you feel the social services haven’t taken on board your concerns correctly then you may wish to consider putting in a formal complaint, which they will have to respond to.

Lastly, the Scottish version of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the Care Inspectorate ( so you may wish to speak with them.

We hope this is helpful.

Alzheimer's Society Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights)

Well Explained about the installation of CCTV Cameras

My sisters have installed CCTV in my mum's house but didn't consult with me. I went to mum's and it had been installed. Surly this isn't right..?

Hi Ron and thanks for your comment.

Unfortunately without knowing further information (such as your mum's situation, whether there are any attorneys or the purposes of the CCTV) we cannot comment or provide any advice on the matter.

We'd strongly recommend calling our dementia advisers (0333 150 3456) so they can listen to the situation in full and provide guidance. Find more details about our Dementia Connect support line (including opening hours) here:

Please do ring our support line to discuss your mum's situation.

Alzheimer's Society blog team

Really very happy to say, your post is very interesting to read.
I never stop myself to say something about it.You’re doing a great job. Keep it up

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed reading this post. big fan, thank you!

My mum has had a stroke but is not disabled, it’s affected her speech, decision making and ability to do everyday things. She has Carers coming into her house 4 times a day. My two sisters and myself are there a lot of the time but want to make sure mum's safe when we’re not. Is it ok to install a camera with mum's permission and how does that fare with the care company

Hi Carole,

Thanks for your comment.

This can be a complex topic, so it may be helpful to talk this over with one of our advisers. You can call our support line on 0333 150 3456. The adviser will be able to learn more about your individual situation and give information, advice and support.

Based on the information you’ve given, it’s great that you’ve mentioned the fact your mum has given consent. It’s important to check in from time to time to make sure that she still consents and has the mental capacity to do so.

As well as your mum, it’s crucial to consider the rights of anybody else that will be recorded, including carers from a care agency. You can check your contract with the care company, as this may mention recording devices and if it does you would have to follow what is outlined. Ideally, you would speak with the care company before fitting cameras as these cameras would impede the rights of care staff going in.

This document from the Care Quality Commission is really helpful on this, so may be useful to refer to:

Hope this is helpful Carole, and please do call the support line if you’d like to discuss this with an adviser.

Alzheimer’s Society blog team

I have gone through your blog . what you have said is absolutely right i will agree with your words cctv is really useful and we can check whether our family member is safe or not while we leave them to care takers,
.thank you for your post

My Mum has dementia..I’m just wanting to know what she’s doing when I’m not there with her however I cook clean shop and care and take her to her appointments. I also Keep her looking nice with hairdresser appointments. Nails and fingernails,,
A cctv camera would allow me to know whether she can use oven and microwave ,t.v.and a/c