Role of the Government in Retirement Homes and Caring For Seniors

Subject: Political
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1203
Topics: Government, Community Service, Nursing, Public Policy

Seniors often choose to leave the home they have been living in for years to settle in a retirement home. One of the advantages of the decision is that retirement homes have a social atmosphere and their goal is to make sure the residents get to interact with each other as well as the staff. Notably, as people age, they sometimes become disengaged and lonely which has negative effects on their wellbeing.  Maintaining a home as one gets older becomes risky and a massive hassle hence choosing to settle in a retirement home is beneficial. On the other hand, demand for a retirement home is expected to grow in the future as a result of increasing life expectancy (Holzhey 1). Notably, retirement homes consist of home health care, independent living apartments, and other services common for older people. Considering that the federal government is responsible for the well-being of all American’s it has passed regulations that ensure retirement homes offer comprehensive care to seniors and developed programs that facilitate their well-being. 

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Role of the Federal Government on Retirement Homes

The federal government has formulated laws to ensure senior citizens living in retirement homes are protected from neglect and abuse. These laws address several issues such as privacy, health, and security (Nursing Home Abuse Guide). Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires all retirement homes which are also called nursing homes to ensure every person staying within the facility receives the best possible care and their well-being is given a priority (Nursing Home Abuse Guide). If the facility fails to follow the law, it not only loses funding from Medicaid and Medicare but also licenses that permit its operation. Additionally, the federal law allows a patient of their family to file a complaint if the stuff has failed to deliver care. Moreover, the patient or family members also have the right to take legal action if the facility fails to address a complaint or show a sign of neglect. 

The federal government became involved in retirement homes and nursing homes in 1987 while trying to intervene on the claim that the facilities were engaging in neglect and abuse cases. The rights of people living in such facilities ensure patients are treated in a humane manner and important things such as privacy are maintained. The Nursing Home Reform Act ensures that elderly people planning on checking in on a retirement home facility receive a comprehensive plan that indicates how they will be taken care of and how they will live in the facility (Nursing Home Abuse Guide). The basic rights stated by the federal government include maintaining their own personal property, finances, psychological and mental state, and quality life. Additionally, elderly people have the right to choose their ideal care plan, medical and living needs as well as right not to be restrained. The act also ensures nutrition needs are met and they get good medical care. The facility should also be well taken care of and a safe place for people to live in. 

In 2017, the federal government made a revision of the way it controls and regulates retirement and nursing homes. The regulations are meant to enhance the role of residents of the facilities as well as their families in designing care (Nursing Home Abuse Guide). In the past years, the facilities required residents to agree on the use of private arbitration when settling disputes. The practice despite being widespread in various industries is very controversial. While supporters of the act feel that the process is less costly, others feel it is biased and sometimes facilitate a violation of safety rules and health. Therefore, the federal government advocated that residents should have a choice to agree to which process or body will be used to solve the dispute (Gleckman). The federal role in retirement home entails that they are cared for and they live in a safe facility. 

What the Federal Government do for Senior Citizens

The federal government acknowledges that elderly people have an experience that gives them a vital role in shaping families, friendship and the community. However, seniors face several challenges such as being unable to avoid scam and fraud, managing finances and leading a healthy life. In conjunction with the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the federal government conducts research that seeks to understand the needs of older people and hence facilitate their health and wellbeing (Voit and Vickers). The institute tries to understand the aging process as well as diseases that older people are likely to experience in order to give a comprehensive patient care and ensure they live an active healthy life. Some of the Health and Initiative features include resources on caregiving, disability, Alzheimer’s disease, end of life, memory and cognitive healthcare (Voit and Vickers). Additionally, the federal government passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 to address the growing need for community social services for seniors. The act also grants state governments to conduct research projects related to aging and therefore address the concerns of seniors. Despite the vast platforms under which older individuals can turn to for help, OAA is the main organization that delivers social and nutrition services to seniors. 

The federal and state government takes part in assisting older people who have financial problems. This form of care is delivered through the AARP foundation which offers services to individuals over the age of fifty years (AARP). The foundation also partners with other organization within the society to reach older people living in poverty. Some of the services offered include paying for their food and medicine as well as cover for the cost of other basic needs. The federal government has also designed a reference guide that aims at assisting adults over the age of fifty-five suffering from a disability as well as caregivers responsible for ensuring their wellbeing (Library of Congress). As people get older, they are more likely to suffer from a disability such as loss of sight, macular degeneration, or cataracts. As a result of decreased mobility, they may become stressed which leads to depression. Therefore, the federal government has laid out programs such as Justice in Aging; Find a Health Care, Medicare Benefits etc. that make the process easier. 


The number of older people has been growing which influences the federal government to come up with ways to offer care to the population. Retirement homes have vast advantages when it comes to offering comprehensive care. However, to ensure people living in the facility are not neglected, the federal government has formulated laws that govern how the facility should be run. On the other hand, there are various ways in which the federal government cares for older people such as offering financial aid as well as making sure they live a healthy life. 

Did you like this sample?
  1. AARP Foundation. “Your Guide to Public benefits.”.
  2. Gleckman, Howard. “What You Should Know About The Government’s New Nursing Home Rules.”.
  3. Holzhey, Matthias. “Retirement Homes.”.
  4. Library of Congress. “Resources for Senior Citizens and Their Families.”, 2018.
  5. Nursing Home Abuse Guide. “Understanding Nursing Home Regulations.”. 
  6. Voit, Bill, and Vickers, Nancy. “Policies and Programs to Help Americans Senior Citizens.”, 2012.
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