Learn more about the definition of a nursing home and how it differs from in home care.
What is a Nursing Home?
Today in the United States there are over 16,000 nursing homes. Nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities, are for seniors who require constant medical care and need significant assistance with the activities of daily living. The goal of care in a nursing home is to help individuals meet their daily physical, medical, social, and psychological needs. A nursing home is generally a stand alone facility, but some are operated within a hospital or an assisted living community.
Activities of daily living include bathing, dressing, and meal preparation but may also extend to assistance with transportation, paying bills, making appointments, and simply being there to provide companionship and emotional support.
Home care services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be paid for directly by the client or through a variety of public and private funding sources such as Long Term Care Insurance, workers’ compensation, and Medicaid.
Residents of nursing homes generally have high care needs and complex medical conditions that require routine skilled nursing services. Due to the constant care needs of its residents, a nursing home is required by federal law to have a licensed nurse on duty 24 hours a day. Residents typically share a room and are served meals in a central dining area. Residents should have the opportunity to be involved in activities that provide mental, physical, and social stimulation. Be sure to ask about activities offered when you tour the facility.
The average cost of care for nursing home care ranges between $6,000 to $10,000 per month. Cost is determined by the level of care needed, the setting where the care is provided, and the geographic location. Due to the high cost of care, many residents use supplemental funding from the government in the form of Medicare and/or Medicaid.
- Also Known As: Convalescent Care, Nursing Center, Long Term Care
- Payment Sources: Private Pay, Medicare, Medicaid
- Price Range: $6,000 to $10,000 per month
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