Nursing Homes


Nursing homes provide the most intensive level of care that is available outside of a hospital. These settings are best for someone who needs frequent or around-the-clock care provided by a skilled nurse in addition to custodial care (assistance with activities of daily living). Many families look into nursing home placement when their loved one’s care needs become too challenging or specialized for them to handle at home. Another common scenario occurs when a patient’s care needs increase and they must transition from a lower level of care, such as assisted living, to a nursing home.

Some of these facilities may also have a special wing for dementia patients and/or patients who require short-term inpatient rehabilitative care following an accident, surgery or acute illness.

Learn about:

To find nursing homes near you, search the Nursing Home Directory. Our Care Advisors will assist your family with making senior living arrangements. This service is provided free of charge.

To speak with a Care Advisor, call (888) 848-5698.

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Nursing Home Services

The services provided in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) are extensive. Staff can assist patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, toileting and walking as well as administer medications, IVs, injections, wound care, tube feedings and other tasks that must be done by a trained nurse.

The following services are commonly offered, but can vary from community to community. Be sure to ask when touring.

Nursing Home Services and Amenities Reference Guide

Rooms vary in size and layout and may be private or semi-private. Rooms are typically furnished and some may include a private bathroom. Housekeeping and laundry services are included.

Three nutritious meals are provided daily, and some facilities may accommodate special diets. Meals can be taken in the patient’s room or in a communal dining room.

Assistance with eating, bathing and personal hygiene, dressing, medication management, toileting, incontinence care, and walking/mobility are all provided.

Services include regular health monitoring, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nurses and/or a physician onsite.

Common areas for socializing, pet therapy programs, library, gentle exercise programs, hobbies and crafts, TV room, gardening, holiday events, board games and cards, musical events, and religious services are standard.

Provided for doctor’s appointments.

Facilities offer mobility assistance and accept patients who use wheelchairs.

Staff members are available 24 hours per day to assist patients with ADLs and medical care.

Each nursing home has a visitor’s policy, but residents are typically allowed to have visitors any time as long as it does not interfere with the care and privacy of other residents.

How to Pay for Nursing Home Care

Nursing home care is typically paid for through private funds. Contrary to popular belief, Medicare will only cover short-term skilled nursing care for a limited number of days following a patient’s eligible hospitalization.

  • Long-term Care Insurance
  • Medicare
  • Life Settlements, Life Insurance Policy
  • Reverse Mortgage
  • Aid and Attendance Veterans Benefit
  • Medicaid
  • Annuities
  • Bridge Loan

Nursing Home Costs Near You

Since nursing homes provide the most intensive level of residential care available, it is often the most expensive option. These facilities assess fees on a daily basis rather than monthly. If necessary, additional services and supplies may be added to a patient’s bill. Nursing home prices vary depending on their geographic location and whether a patient opts for a private or semi-private room. Costs tend to be highest in large cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco compared to less populated areas.

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Choosing a Nursing Home

Deciding to place your loved in a nursing home can be a difficult decision. Touring each prospective option at least once is the best way to get a feel for what it will be like to live there. It is important to interact with the staff, get feedback from current residents, see the grounds and accommodations in person, and even sample a meal from the dining room.

Be sure to look up inspection records, incident reports, official and resident ratings and reviews before making a selection. Weighing others’ experiences with the impressions you receive on tours will help you choose the right fit.

Here are a few steps to help you find the right community…

  1. Involve your Loved One. It is important to discuss this transition with your loved one and listen to their thoughts and concerns. Although the topic of long-term care can be difficult to broach and you may meet some resistance, letting them have some say in the decision will help the process go more smoothly.
  2. Determine What You Can Afford. Explore your senior living options and assess your financial resources and benefits to get a clearer idea of your budget for care.
  3. Evaluate your Loved One’s Needs. Conduct a needs assessment or consult with your doctor or hospital discharge planner regarding your loved one’s care plan. Taking inventory of all their medical and personal care needs will help ensure they are all met in their new living environment.
  4. Get Connected with a Senior Living Advisor. Our experienced Care Advisors will assist your family with making senior living arrangements. This service is provided free of charge. To speak with a Care Advisor, call (888) 848-5698.
  5. Tour Communities. On a tour, you will be able to meet staff, ask current residents about their experiences, and get a feel for how the community functions and is managed.
  6. Make your Decision. Check customer reviews and nursing home ratings and find inspection reports for your top contenders, then select the one that meets the most of your important criteria.
  7. Make the Move. Once you have chosen a community, adequate planning (including significant downsizing) is necessary to ensure the move goes smoothly and that your loved one settles in quickly.

For a comprehensive checklist to help you find a nursing home, read Checklist: Finding a Nursing Home for Your Elderly Parents.