The relationship between environmental and personal factors on self-appraised self-care agency of nursing home residents was examined. Data were collected from 83 nursing home residents in relation to self-care abilities, environmental constraints, and selected demographic factors. Race and previous occupation were related to self-care agency with residents who were black or previously self-employed evidencing higher scores. In addition, residents who viewed the home as overly restrictive or fostering dependence had lower perceptions of their self-care abilities. The results are discussed in terms of Orem's theory of self-care, social learning theory, and implications for restructuring care within nursing homes.