Personal care home regulations vary by jurisdiction, but regulations governing them typically address issues surrounding the home's facilities, staff, and accountability. In many areas, a personal care home must be licensed or registered with a governmental agency before it can accept residents. In some areas, this government agency also enforces personal care home regulations. In addition, some jurisdictions even have an ombudsman who can intercede on behalf of personal care home residents who have complaints about their living conditions.
Many residents of personal care homes are elderly and may have various illnesses or disabilities. As these populations are typically vulnerable and in need of special care and protection, many places have significant regulations on homes that provide them with residential care. One primary area of regulation is the physical facilities of a personal care home. For example, a personal care home may be required to meet strict building codes and be regularly inspected by a fire marshal. Personal care home regulations may also require regular inspections by the health department of the home's living quarters, common rooms, and kitchen facilities.
Some personal care home regulations address the qualifications of care home staff members. Depending on the services offered by the home, its administrator or director may have to hold a nursing license or may have to be certified or licensed as a care home administrator. Employees may be required to be of a certain age, and there may be restrictions on employees who are permitted to assist residents with taking medications. In some cases, regulations may also address the qualifications of volunteers in these homes. The home may also be responsible for providing certain types of training to volunteers and workers, including information on how to safely evacuate residents in case of a fire or other emergency.
In many places, personal care home regulations may require homes to practice transparency in their operations and finances. For example, a jurisdiction may establish a list of residents' rights that must be posted in a common area so that residents can see it. A home may also be responsible for reporting certain events to a government agency or ombudsman. These incidents may include deaths, accidents, or staff misconduct that violates a resident's rights or well-being. Contracts between residents and homes may also be addressed under personal care home regulations, and contracts may be required to plainly state all fees and charges so that a resident or his representative is aware of these charges prior to committing to entering the home.