CLEVELAND — Editor's Note: The above video is from our 2019 report on Steven Piskor's attempt to get Esther's Law passed
Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill that will allow patients in Ohio's long-term care facilities to have cameras installed in their rooms.
Esther's Law, co-sponsored by State Senators Nicki Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware), looks to end the problem of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes across the state.
The law is named for Esther “Mitzi” Piskor, who was a victim of elder abuse at a nursing home run by MetroHealth Medical Center. As our Phil Trexler reported, Esther's son Steven placed a hidden camera in his mother’s room in 2011 on a hunch after unexplained bruises and her quiet moods
“I began seeing changes in my mom,” Steven recalled in our 2019 story. “By then, I knew something was happening…When I put the camera on, I found abuse in the first two days. But I didn’t know how it was going to be handled.”
The video sent shockwaves through the community. Two aides were indicted and later jailed. Three were fired, and three others were disciplined.
But then, nothing.
Esther “Mitzi” Piskor died in 2018 at the age of 85. Steven became intent on ensuring her legacy lives on, and that the trauma she endured is not forgotten, or allowed to be repeated.
Ten other states have laws dealing with cameras and nursing homes. Steven believes that the success of similar laws elsewhere is proof that “Esther’s Law” is viable and can be a symbol for change.
"Because every time that camera goes into a nursing home, that nursing home is going to know that it was...because they abused my mother.”
According to Antonio, from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, county departments of job and family services received more than 32,000 reports of abuse and neglect for adults age 60 and over in Ohio.