To present an overview of the special challenges of providing medical care for nursing home residents. After researching the current medical literature, we summarized information on nursing home demographics, government regulations, and specific care issues for medical practice in nursing homes. Almost 2 million Americans currently live in more than 20,000 nursing homes nationwide, and these nursing home residents are increasingly older and more frail than in the past. Most nursing home residents receive multiple prescription medications, and many are cognitively and functionally impaired. Nursing home-acquired infections are a frequent occurrence, as are falls and fall-related injuries. Recent federal laws have had a major effect on medical care in the nursing home and have made physicians more accountable for the care provided. The use of physical restraints and psychotropic drugs has been severely restricted. The medical care of nursing home residents presents many challenges to primary-care physicians. Nevertheless, nursing home residents are among those patients in greatest need of competent, compassionate care. Despite numerous disincentives, provision of medical care for nursing home residents can be gratifying.
- Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
ASJC Scopus subject areas