When a nursing home receives funding from the government, it must comply to certain standards of care. These standards were set in place to protect the elderly when in the 1980s, many reports surfaced of abuse in nursing homes. Congress responded by writing legislation in 1987. In order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, the nursing homes were required to comply with the requirements. The legislation was entitled the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 or Nursing Home Reform Act.
The requirements are documented in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 483). All facilities are required to have adequate staff. When a resident enters, his or her functional ability must be assessed and an appropriate care plan is to be devised for the patient.
The facility must provide assistance in carrying out daily activities of living if the patient is unable to do so him or herself. Residents are to receive treatment and assistive devices to assist with vision and hearing issues. The facility is to make sure residents do not develop sores. In the case that a sore does appear, immediate treatment is to be given to promote healing.
The residents have the right to choose activities, schedule, and health care. The facility is to treat their residents with respect and dignity and provide the best quality of life for them.