The Southwest region of the United States contains four states. This region includes Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Each of these states maintains strict rules and regulations for nursing home facilities. Like a number of other states, these nursing home facilities aim to provide a certain standard of care for each resident. The physical, mental, and psychosocial wellbeing of residents should be maintained as well as possible throughout the duration of the resident’s stay.

Arizona Nursing Home Laws

Similarly to other states, Arizona has implemented a number of guidelines to ensure that nursing home residents receive a certain standard of care in nursing home facilities across the state. Arizona nursing home laws require that each resident is provided with a personalized care plan. This care plan must be completed and implemented within 14 days of the resident’s admission to the facility.

Arizona Nursing Home Facility Requirements

Arizona nursing home law dictates that nursing home facilities meet certain standards in order to be safe and accommodating for residents. For safety, slip-resistant surfaces must be used for bathing facilities and flooring around the nursing home. One sink and toilet should be available for every 10 residents in the facility. Each resident should have no less than 40 square feet of space for indoor activities.

Arizona Nursing Home Food Services

Food services must facilitate the nutritional needs for each resident. A registered dietician is required to review the menus in each facility to ensure this. All menus should be prepared a week or more in advance to allow residents the ability to review, as well as maintain a regular schedule in the facility.

New Mexico Nursing Home Laws

New Mexico nursing home laws state that all nursing home residents should receive emotional and physical privacy. These standards for privacy apply to virtually all aspects of resident life, except when the resident is physically or mentally incapable of being alone or performing daily tasks. Discussions of a resident’s current medical state and medical records should be kept confidential.

New Mexico Abuse and Restraint Laws

New Mexico nursing home laws state that residents may not be physically or chemically restrained unless written authorization is provided by a physician. When written authorization is provided, a specified time period must also be included. The only exception to these guidelines is during an emergency. In these cases, physical restraints are permitted in the interest of protecting the resident, other residents, and staff members of the nursing home facility.

Oklahoma Nursing Home Laws

Oklahoma nursing home laws state that staff members must encourage residents to be active and out of bed for reasonable amounts of time. Staff members should also encourage residents to be independent in as many situations as possible to promote the maintenance of health. If significant changes in health or wellbeing occur, staff members must reflect these changes in the resident’s medical records.

New Electronic Monitoring Law

A new addition to Oklahoma nursing home laws is the ability of residents and their representatives to install electric audio and video monitoring devices in a resident’s room. This law was created to encourage safety in the treatment of residents in nursing homes. Since this provision was put into effect, Oklahoma nursing homes are now required to post visible signs notifying all residents and visitors of the new law.

Texas Nursing Home Laws

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services is the main entity that regulates nursing home facilities in the state. Texas nursing home laws require all residents to be treated with dignity, respect, and privacy. The mental, physical, and psychosocial wellbeing of residents are not permitted to decline unless medically unavoidable.

Texas Nursing Home Staffing Requirements

The requirements for the number of nursing home staff members who should be present depend on the time of the day. Texas nursing home laws state that the most staff members should be present during the day, with one direct care giver per each five residents. In the evening, this ratio may increase to one caregiver per 10 residents. During the night, one caregiver may be present per 15 residents.




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Davis, Craig. “New Oklahoma Law Will Provide Increased Protections for Nursing Home Residents.” AARP States. AARP, 8 Jul 2013. Web. 23 Sep 2013. <>.

“Nursing Facilities.” Resources for DADS Service Providers. Department of Aging and Disability Services, 9 Apr 2013. Web. 23 Sep 2013. <>.

“Requirements for Long Term Care Facilities.” New Mexico Department of Health. New Mexico Division of Health Improvement . Web. 23 Sep 2013. <>.