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Carewatchers Elder/Senior Nursing Home Placement and Referral Agency

What is a Nursing Home?

Nursing homes also known as Skilled Nursing Facilities have changed dramatically over the past several decades. These changes have been driven by government regulations and consumer pressures. Today’s nursing homes are highly regulated, high-quality institutions for the care and treatment of older adults who have severe physical health and/or mental disabilities.

Skilled Nursing Facilities are normally the highest level of care for older adults outside of a hospital. Nursing homes provide custodial care, which includes getting in and out of bed, and providing assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing. However, nursing homes differ from other senior housing facilities in that they also provide a high level of medical care.

While nursing homes have traditionally been set up in a medically oriented design, with ease of patient care being the primary goal, some homes are now moving to a newer design model with smaller communities of 10 to 30 people within a home, private kitchens, communal areas, and continuity of staff.

Whether you and your family are facing a quick decision about a nursing home due to a recent event, or have been coping with a worsening progressive disease such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, considering a nursing home is not an easy decision. Emotions such as guilt, sadness, frustration, and anger are normal.

What Services Do Nursing Homes Offer?

The services nursing homes offer vary from facility to facility. Services often include:

Room and board
Monitoring of medication
Personal care (including dressing, bathing, and toilet assistance)
24-hour emergency care
Social and recreational activities

How Can I Pay for Skilled Nursing Facility Care?

As you and your family evaluate your long-term care needs, it's important to consider financing options. Payment for nursing home care can be made through Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and personal funds. When evaluating nursing homes, it's important to ask the administrative staff what payment options they accept.

Here's a brief summary of some of the financing options.

• Medicare is a federal health insurance program providing health care benefits to all Americans age 65 and over. Insurance protection intended to cover major hospital care is provided without regard to income. Medicare will only provide 100 days of nursing care and only if a person requires skilled care and is referred by a doctor when discharged from the hospital. If a person needs custodial care alone, Medicare won't cover it. Medicare only pays for skilled care in a nursing facility that has a Medicare license.

• Medicaid is a joint federal/state health insurance program providing medical care benefits to low income Americans who meet certain requirements. Nursing home care is covered through Medicaid, but the requirements and covered services vary widely from state to state. To become eligible for Medicaid coverage, people usually have to spend all of their assets first. This means that they might pay for nursing home care out of pocket initially. Once their money runs out, Medicaid would kick in. It's a good idea to work with a lawyer who specializes in elder law when determining Medicaid eligibility.

• Private long-term care insurance is a health insurance option that, if purchased, supplements Medicare coverage. Private long-term care insurance policies vary greatly. Each policy has its own eligibility requirements, restrictions, costs, and benefits.


To Find a Skilled Nursing Facility Select Your State


Senior Housing Facility Options

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Adult Day Health Care Centers

There are two types of adult day care. First there are Adult Day Care Centers which focus on social interaction with adults and older persons. The second type is called Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) providing adults with chronic medical, mental health...

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Assisted Living Facilities

A typical assisted living facility resident would usually be an elder/senior citizen who does not need the level of care offered by a skilled nursing facility. Assisted Living Facilities provide more companionship and some assistance in day-to-day living.

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Hospice Care Facilities

Hospice Care is more than a place of care, hospice is a unique kind of care for people with advanced illnesses. Hospice Care is a specialized care that accepts dying as the final natural stage of life, neither to speed up the dying process nor postpone it.

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Independent Living Communities

Independent Living is simply any housing arrangement designed exclusively for seniors, generally those aged 55 and over. Housing can vary widely, from apartment-style living to freestanding homes. These communities are for seniors who need little or no care.

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Continuing Care Communities

CCRC's aren't independent living communities, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Continuing Care Communities are a combination of all of these care options, owned by private companies and staffed to provide a ''continuum of care''.

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In-Home Care Agencies

In-home care also known as home care, home health care and private duty home care. In-home care is considered non-skilled which means non- medical, home care and home health care is skilled care which means medical. Private duty home care is both.

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Memory Care Facilities

Memory care is a term that refers to specialized care provided by some facilities to help elder/seniors and other individuals affected by memory impairment. Memory care communities are often incorporated as separate care units of assisted living facilities.

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Residential Care Homes

Residential Care Homes are also known as Adult Family Homes, Adult Family Care Homes, Residential Care Facilities, Personal Care Homes, and Care Homes. All of which provide professional care for the elder/senior in a residential home setting.

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