What is Nursing Care?

Home Away From Home

Nursing and rehabilitation centers provide elderly residents with a high level of personalized services, including room and board, personal care, protection, recreation, supervision, and medical care. Nursing centers (also sometimes called a nursing home, convalescent home, skilled nursing unit (SNU), care home, rest home, intermediate care, or old folk’s home) and rehab centers are licensed and regulated by each state’s Department of Public Health. Many nursing centers have the ability to provide care to those with Alzheimer's. Those nursing and rehabilitation centers that are individually certified by either Medicare or Medicaid, or both, are subject to federal requirements regarding staffing and quality of care for residents. In the United States, nursing homes that participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid are required to have licensed practical nurses (LPNs) on duty 24 hours a day. For at least eight hours per day, seven days per week, there must be a registered nurse (RN) on duty.

Features of Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers

Nursing facilities and Rehabilitation Centers provide three levels of care. The amount of care a resident requires is determined by the individual resident’s circumstances (their health, mental awareness, and so on). The three levels are:

  • Basic Care – Assistance with essential daily living activities, such as personal care, ambulation, supervision, and safety.
  • Skilled Care – The services of a registered nurse are required on a regular basis for health concerns, treatments, and procedures.
  • Sub-Acute – Comprehensive inpatient care designed for someone who has had an acute illness, injury, or exacerbation of a disease process.

Financial Matters

Nursing and rehabilitation facilities accept a variety of payment options, including:

  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Medi-Cal (California only)
  • Veteran’s Benefits
  • Private insurance
  • Private funds

Note: Not all nursing and rehabilitation centers accept Medicare/Medicaid; some choose not to participate in the programs. To get an accurate estimate of the cost of a particular nursing home or rehabilitation center, contact the communities listed on AlternativesforSeniors.com and inquire. A friendly associate will gladly assist you.

Other types of senior care exist in addition to nursing centers and rehabilitation centers. For seniors who may not need a high level of care, there are independent living options, such as retirement communities, senior apartments, and adult day care centers, and assisted living facilities, such as residential care and continuing care communities. For more serious health conditions there’s care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and hospice care.