As of 2009, approximately 40 million people over the age of 65 were living in the United States, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. This number is set to rise to 72.1 million by 2030. Due to increasing demand, senior living facilities must conform to a number of standards and regulations.
The federal standards for nursing home care was established in 1987 under President Ronald Reagan; the law stipulated that, to receive federal funding, the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act has established policies and procedures all nursing homes must abide.
Quality of Care
Medicare policies state that there must be a physician available to tend to the needs of those in care; it is strictly enforced that nursing care facilities have licensed nurses available at all times.
Quality of Life
Policies specify that nurses must honor the dignity of their patients at all times. A nurse must give the patient a choice in what food that they wish to eat, the activities they wish to take part in and basic privacy rights such as knocking on the door before entering a patient's room.