Relationship With OBRA

OBRA Philosophy Applied to Elder Living Environments

Although the original intent of OBRA was to positively impact nursing home settings, the principles upon which it is based are applicable to a broad range of living environments for elders. The following outlines the key OBRA regulations that influence design:

I. Maximize the quality of life of each elder          

A. Maintain or improve well-being:

  1. General physical and mental health
  2. Functional status
  3. Self-esteem
  4. Relationships
  5. Appearance

B. Protect and enhance elder rights:

  1. Privacy
  2. Participation in care planning
  3. Accommodation of individual needs
  4. Freedom from chemical and physical restraints
  5. Opportunity to organize and participate in life fulfilling activities
  6. Opportunity to voice grievances
  7. Opportunity to review own medical records

C. Assure personal autonomy:

  1. Availability of choices

  2. Self-determination Crosby Spears High Rise; Atlanta, GA THW Design / Photography by Jonathan Hillyer

  3. Access to assistance

II. Maximize the quality of care given each elder

A. Deliver individualized care with respect

B. Base care on periodic comprehensive assessment including capabilities and weaknesses

C. Provide care needed to attain and maintain highest practical level of well-being

D. Provide care by qualified staff 24 hours a day


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The Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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