Nursing Home

There are generally two types of care available in a nursing home: short-term rehabilitative care and long-term care for chronic conditions. Patients receiving rehabilitative care, most often due to an acute illness or surgery, may continue staying at the facility as a long-term care patient if they do not recover the ability to live in their previous environment. Usually the long-term care units are in a separate area of the facility and the patient will have to change rooms.

In addition to rehabilitative therapies, most nursing homes are staffed to provide for daily medical needs and to accommodate patients who are bedbound or who require significant assistance with some or all activities of daily living. If a patient experiences an acute illness or trauma the nursing home will contact local emergency services for treatment or hospitalization.

Questions to ask a nursing home facility


When calling or visiting a prospective nursing home, be ready to ask questions to find out about their staff, policies and personal services. This checklist can help to ensure that you ask the necessary questions, and make it easy to compare nursing homes.

About the nursing home:

  • Is the nursing home close to a hospital, family, and friends, and near transportation, shopping and parks?
  •  What is the Medicare.gov rating for this nursing home?
  •  Are there rooms available that fit your need for rehabilitation or long-term care?
  • If there is a waiting list? How does it work?
  • Is the general atmosphere of the environment pleasant, clean, odor-free, inviting and well-maintained?
  • Do residents appear to be content and well cared for?
  • Does the staff seem friendly, helpful and responsive?
  • Are there criminal background checks on all staff?
  • Does the nursing home verify all of the licensing/certification requirements before hiring staff?
  • Is there in-service training and continuing education for all care staff?
  • Is there a sign posted listing the long-term care ombudsman's office and telephone number?

Costs of Nursing Home Care

Daily rates are most common. The national median daily rate for a private room is [$213] per day, which equates to [$77,745] per year*. The annual cost of a nursing home room is determined by the type of room that is occupied and any additional charges for non-care services such as laundry, telephone or cable connections.

*Based on Genworth 2012 Cost of Care Survey

Transitions at any age can be stressful, including a move to a nursing home following a hospitalization. Here are some areas to focus on that will make the experience go more smoothly for everyone.

Residency Agreement. Confirm the following items during the enrollment process:

  • Date for completing admission paperwork and move-in date
  • Designated room and personalization of the room
  • Billing/payment arrangements
  • Patient rights and responsibilities
  • Grievance procedures
  • Refund policy
  • Move in / move out policies

Admissions. Be ready to provide the following during the admissions process:

  • Emergency contact names and telephone numbers
  • Health insurance information, Medicare card
  • Names of all physicians and their phone numbers
  • Health Care Proxy paperwork