Nursing Home Basics
Let’s face it, no one really wants to
be in a nursing home. But the reality is
that nursing homes play a key role in
our health care system. Deciding which
home you or your loved one is going to
reside in is a very important decision. Get
the best care you can. Learn all you can.
WHAT IS A NURSING HOME?
A nursing home, also known as a skilled nursing
facility is a place that provides 24 hour care.
These facilities provide skilled nursing care,
personal care, custodial care and rehabilitative
care to persons who are ill, recuperating after
surgery or physically weak. Some may also offer
respite care to give relief to a family caregiver.
A nursing home can be freestanding or part
of a continuing care retirement community
(CCRC). A CCRC allows residents to move
from one level of care to another, as needed,
and can include independent living, assisted
living, and/or a nursing home. A hospital can
also house a skilled nursing unit that serves
patients who need short-term care and rehabilitation
WHO NEEDS A NURSING HOME?
There are generally two kinds of people that
need a nursing home.
1. People recuperating after a hospital stay
from an illness or injury. There is usually
limited time to find a nursing home before being
discharged from the hospital. Family and
friends may help in the nursing home search/
evaluation process by visiting nursing homes
while the patient is in the hospital.
2. People who need 24 hour intermediate or
custodial care, more care than an assisted
This Section Includes:
• What Is a Nursing Home
• Who Needs a Nursing Home
• Nursing Home Overview Criteria
• Finding a Nursing Home: The Process
• Nursing Home Quick Tips List
living facility or home care agency can provide.
The person needing this kind of care
may not have an immediate time constraint
to find a nursing home. When this occurs,
proper time can be taken to thoroughly
evaluate which home is right for their care
Things to understand before residing in a
1. Educate yourself about the nursing homes
you are considering. Use our extensive
“Questions to Ask” Comparison Worksheet
to evaluate three facilities you are considering.
If your time frame for finding and choosing
a nursing home is limited, use our Nursing
Home Quick Tip List (later in this article).
2. Understand costs and financial considerations.
• What services and products are covered by
• How long are you covered for?
• What charges are you responsible for paying?
• What does your long-term outlook, look like?
(In terms of care needed and financial future.)
3. Know your rights and responsibilities
as a patient in a nursing home. Visit
*For more detailed information go to www.PolkElderCare.com