What is a Nursing Home?


A nursing home, also termed as Skilled Nursing Unit or more popularly known as care home, is a place of residence for people who require constant nursing care and have significant deficiencies with activities of daily living. People who enter nursing homes include old aged individuals and younger adults experiencing physical or mental disabilities.

Nursing homes provide 24 hour care and supervision. Nursing homes are known by several names such as: skilled nursing facilities, extended care facilities, sub-acute facilities. In general, a nursing home is a place to stay, providing room, meals, entertainment and assistance with activities of daily living: eating, bathing, dressing, grooming and walking.

Also, services provided in nursing homes include services of nurses, nursing aides and assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists, social workers and assistants, room and board. Most care in nursing facilities is provided by certified nursing assistants, not by skilled personnel. But, nursing homes differ on levels of care they provide, from custodial to highly skilled nursing.

Nursing homes may have special care units for Alzheimer’s patients or those that require cardiac care and respiratory disorders. In addition, the long-term care includes medical and non-physicians who have a chronic illness or disability. In the US, all nursing homes in the United States that receive Medicare and/or Medicaid funding are subject to federal regulations.

Nowadays, some nursing homes have begun to change the way they are managed and organized to create a resident-centred environment, so they are more home-like and less institutional or hospital-like. In this facility, units are replaced by a limited number of rooms surrounding a common kitchen and living room and a staff assigned to one of these “households.”

Also, in-patients have many choices about when they wake up, when they eat and what they do during the day. Many of the facilities utilizing these models refer to such changes as the “Culture Shift” or “Culture Change” occurring in the Long Term Care, or LTC, industry. Sometimes this kind of nursing home is called a “greenhouse.”

Making the decision on which nursing home to choose is truly a bit daunting. It can be quite stressful for both family member and the resident as well most especially if there are a wide range of options to choose from. Thus, it is very significant to be very well-informed as possible to avoid having to move out because of a bad choice. Besides, if there are many choices of high quality home nursing care within the community, it is a smart move to examine the location of nursing homes. Ones nearer are better.