Nursing Home Summary: A nursing home is a long-term care facility that offers around the clock nursing care for individuals with chronic illness or injury who are unable to care for themselves in an independent manner. Nursing homes house those who are elderly and unable to continue caring for themselves, as well as individuals of all ages who have chronic health concerns or permanent physical or mental disabilities that prevent them from being able to care for themselves. A nursing home may also be referred to as a nursing facility, skilled nursing, nursing center, convalescent home, retirement home, assisted living, elderly home, rehabilitation center, rehab center, eldercare, Alzheimer care and/or rest home.
Nursing Home Conditions Treated:
While nursing homes do not treat medical conditions in the same way that physicians and hospital facilities do, the medical staff does provide monitoring and care for those with chronic illness, severe injuries, physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, and mental disabilities. The assistants in nursing homes also provide daily care and personal services to those residents who cannot complete these tasks without assistance.
Nursing Home Specialties:
There are a variety of treatment modalities used in nursing homes, with the majority of care being provided by a nursing staff and nursing assistants. The nursing home may lean more toward task-oriented care or resident-oriented care or somewhere in between the two approaches. There are basically three common types of nursing care facilities in the United States, including Intermediate Care Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.
Nursing Home Procedures and Treatments:
The staff in nursing homes help to provide custodial care for their residents. They help with those who need assistance for bathing, grooming, dressing, and eating. Nursing staff gives oversight to distribution of treatments including prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Some additional treatments provided in a nursing home setting involve occupational therapy, physical therapy, and providing transportation to medical appointments.
Nursing Home Details:
Each state performs inspections on nursing homes to be sure they meet specific certification requirements. The designated inspection agency in each state is responsible for licensing and certification of nursing homes. Depending on the type of facility, the state may have the final say on certification, or the result of the inspection may be sent to a regional office where the final decision will be made. There is also inspection performed at the federal level, especially for those facilities that are publicly funded or receive payments from Medicare and Medicaid. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is also responsible for inspections, certification, and licensing in these cases.
Nursing Home FAQs: Aren't nursing homes for older people?
While nursing homes do provide care for elderly residents, they also provide care for people of all ages who have chronic illnesses or disabilities that require around the clock medical care or help with custodial care issues.
Aren't nursing homes expensive?
Like other care providers, nursing home costs vary depending on the type of facility. While private facilities may cost more than state facilities, both types of facilities typically take different types of insurance payments as well. Help is available for those with low income.
How do I know when it is time to consider a nursing home or assisted living center?
The decision to consider assisted living or skilled nursing typically depends on the availability and willingness of family to meet the needs of the person in care. When the care requirements of someone become too impractical for family, then it is time to seriously consider assisted living or nursing care. When an individual has mental or physical disabilities that make it unsafe to be without 24 hour care and supervision, then an assisted living center should be considered. When an individual has serious health issues requiring 24 hour nursing, then a facility with skilled nursing available should be considered.
How can I make sure the nursing home provides the level of care I need?
Call the nursing home before-hand. Ask to talk to the head nurse. Ask if they they provide skilled or custodial care. Ask if a bed is available. It is a good idea to print this
nursing home checklist and simply run through the list of questions on the phone.
How do I know if a nursing home is Medicare or Medicaid-certified?
The easiest way to find out is to find a local nursing home in the Wellness.com directory and call them to confirm.
How do I find the best nursing home in my area?
Every nursing home is different. It is recommended that you invest enough time to find the best nursing home that fits within your budget. Doing complete reference checks and spending time in the facility before committing is the best way to do research.
Nursing Home Related Terms: nursing home, retirement home, disability, elderly, aging, assisted living, skilled nursing, nursing facility, nursing center, convalescent home, elderly home, rehabilitation center, rehab center, eldercare, Alzheimer care and/or rest home
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