Breaking News
October 15, 2018 - Health Tip: Know the Risk Factors for Lower Back Pain
October 15, 2018 - Study shows cigarillo flavors enhanced by high-intensity sweeteners
October 15, 2018 - Study traces hospital-acquired bloodstream infections to patients’ own bodies | News Center
October 15, 2018 - Abnormal vision in childhood can affect development of brain areas responsible for attention
October 15, 2018 - Color-changing contact lens could help doctors to monitor eye disease medications
October 15, 2018 - Tobacco heating products cause less staining to teeth than conventional cigarettes
October 15, 2018 - Young adults who are obese can expect to lose up to 10 years in life expectancy
October 15, 2018 - Scientists uncover how proteins meet on the cell membrane
October 15, 2018 - Affordable housing with supportive social services for senior citizens can reduce hospital use
October 15, 2018 - Following a Tissue Sample
October 15, 2018 - Prisoners need drug and alcohol treatments but AA programs aren’t the answer
October 15, 2018 - Andrea Califano and Jordan Orange Elected to National Academy of Medicine
October 15, 2018 - The impending risk of African Swine Fever Virus
October 15, 2018 - Breastfeeding reduces the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in infant gut
October 15, 2018 - Researchers develop comprehensive molecular atlas of postnatal mouse heart development
October 15, 2018 - ObsEva SA Presents Clinical Data from Phase III IMPLANT 2 Trial of Nolasiban in IVF at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Annual Meeting
October 15, 2018 - Engineering teratoma-derived fibroblasts to enhance osteogenesis
October 15, 2018 - Lab study shows effectiveness of potential therapy for treatment-resistant hypothyroidism
October 15, 2018 - JCU study firms up association between diet and depression
October 15, 2018 - Researchers to study the use of CRISPR on human liver on-a-chip platform
October 15, 2018 - Sub-concussive impacts not associated with decline in neurocognitive function
October 15, 2018 - Researchers find potential treatment to halt premature labor and birth
October 15, 2018 - As U.S. suicides rates rise, Hispanics show relative immunity
October 15, 2018 - FDA Issues a Complete Response Letter to Acacia Pharma for Barhemsys
October 15, 2018 - Photoactive bacteria bait may help in fight against MRSA infections
October 15, 2018 - Increasing vigorous exercise reduces risk factors of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease in children
October 15, 2018 - First-of-its-kind study to test a personalized vaccine in cancer patient
October 15, 2018 - Extension trial assesses benefit of switching from flash monitoring to RT-CGM for hypoglycemia
October 15, 2018 - Half of parents say young children are afraid of doctor’s visits
October 15, 2018 - Study shows how fingerprint-based drug screening works on the living and deceased
October 15, 2018 - Study reveals potential to monitor progression of Alzheimer’s disease by measuring brain antioxidant levels
October 15, 2018 - FDA Approves Xarelto to Reduce the Risk of Major Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Chronic Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) or Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
October 15, 2018 - Promising new therapeutic approach against Ebola virus identified
October 15, 2018 - Study unravels how cancer stem cells use normal genes in abnormal ways
October 15, 2018 - Healthcare systems fail to deliver at affordable prices finds report
October 15, 2018 - Intensive BP Therapy in Diabetes May Lower Risk for CV Events
October 15, 2018 - Muscle relaxants increase risk of respiratory complications
October 15, 2018 - Female birds become more promiscuous after hatchings fail in the first breeding attempt
October 15, 2018 - Humans occupied Madagascar thousands of years later than previously thought
October 15, 2018 - Is Kidney Dialysis Always Needed When Septic Shock Strikes?
October 15, 2018 - Study shows invasive lung cancer surgery can lead to long-term opioid use
October 15, 2018 - Sugar, a “sweet” tool to understand brain injuries
October 14, 2018 - King’s commemorates activities and research on World Arthritis Day
October 14, 2018 - Humana and VFW NY team up on Stop 22 initiative to increase awareness of veterans committing suicide
October 14, 2018 - Water fluoridation contributes to urinary fluoride levels in pregnant women in Canada
October 14, 2018 - Study of children in Romanian orphanages tells cautionary tale about family separation
October 14, 2018 - Previous Endologix AFX Safety Notice classified by FDA as Class I recall
October 14, 2018 - Legal scholars sound alarm on academies’ report about returning research results to participants
October 14, 2018 - UNIST selects six extraordinary scholars to be induced as ‘Rising-star Distinguished Professor’
October 14, 2018 - Scientists find new way to help asthmatics breathe more easily
October 14, 2018 - New ‘gag rule’ may adversely impact health care of pregnant women
October 14, 2018 - Rosacea – Genetics Home Reference
October 14, 2018 - When the fighting crosses the line
October 14, 2018 - New findings could benefit patients with triple-negative breast cancer
October 14, 2018 - UK Biobank provides wealth of information for further genetic studies
October 14, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Falling premiums and rising political tensions
October 14, 2018 - Duvelisib Promising for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, SLL
October 14, 2018 - Tailored drug cocktails offer hope to kids with aggressive brain tumors
October 14, 2018 - Common gene variants linked to migraine risk in African-American children
October 14, 2018 - Funding requests are being accepted by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust
October 14, 2018 - Using pulsed electric fields in cancer therapy
October 14, 2018 - Major Childbirth Complications More Likely for Black Women
October 14, 2018 - Young cancer survivors at greater risk of mental health disorders
October 14, 2018 - Common herbicide compound could help fight hospital-acquired fungal infections
October 14, 2018 - Alterations in genes encoding proteins contribute to ADHD development
October 14, 2018 - New patient-centric website launched in Europe to empower people with chronic conditions
October 14, 2018 - Antimicrobial signaling molecule has lower activity against hepatitis C virus in most humans
October 14, 2018 - Genomic dark matter activity connects Parkinson’s and psychiatric diseases
October 14, 2018 - Cornell dots equipped with antibody fragments offer a new cancer weapon
October 14, 2018 - Addressing social and cultural factors is key to reducing burden of type 2 diabetes
October 14, 2018 - Study reveals why females age more slowly than males
October 14, 2018 - DNA vaccine shown to provide long-term protection from Ebola
October 14, 2018 - Gene therapy shown to remove core component of Parkinson’s disease
October 14, 2018 - Obamacare premiums dip for first time. Some call it a correction
October 14, 2018 - Scientists use haploid stem cells to produce mice with same-sex parents
October 14, 2018 - New transgenic mouse model sheds light on biological causes of Parkinson’s disease
October 14, 2018 - Halobetasol Propionate Lotion Shows Efficacy for Tx of Psoriasis
October 14, 2018 - Overweight pregnant women can safely cut calories, restrict weight gain
October 14, 2018 - Scientists find new way to predict obesity-related disease risk
October 14, 2018 - Lab Innovations to host new range of laboratory product launches in Birmingham
How to choose a nursing home: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

How to choose a nursing home: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

At a nursing home, skilled staff and health care providers offer around-the-clock care. Nursing homes can provide a number of different services:

  • Routine medical care
  • 24-hour supervision
  • Nursing care
  • Doctor visits
  • Help with everyday activities, such as bathing and grooming
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • All meals

Nursing homes provide both short-term and long-term care, depending on the needs of the resident.

  • You may need short-term care during recovery from a serious illness or injury following a hospitalization. Once you recover, you can go home.
  • You may need long-term daily care if you have an ongoing mental or physical condition and can no longer care for yourself.

The type of care you need will be a factor in what facility you choose, as well as how you pay for that care.


When you start looking for a nursing home:

  • Work with your social worker or discharge planner from the hospital and ask about the kind of care needed. Ask what facilities they recommend.
  • You can also ask your health care providers, friends, and family, for recommendations.
  • Make a list of all the nursing homes in or near your area that meet your or your loved one’s needs.

It’s important to do a bit of homework – not all facilities provide the same quality care. Start by looking up facilities on Nursing Home Compare — This allows you to see and compare Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes based on certain quality measures:

  • Health inspections
  • Fire safety inspections
  • Staffing
  • Quality of care
  • Penalties (if any)

If you can’t find a nursing home listed in the website, check to see if it is Medicare/Medicaid certified. Facilities with this certification must meet certain quality standards. If a facility is not certified, you should probably take it off your list.

Once you’ve chosen a few facilities to check out, call each facility and check:

  • If they are taking new patients. Can you get a single room, or will you need to share a room? Single rooms may cost more.
  • The level of care offered. If needed, ask if they offer specialized care, such as stroke rehabilitation or care for dementia patients.
  • Whether they accept Medicare and Medicaid.

Once you have a list of facilities that meet your needs, call and make an appointment to visit each one or ask someone you trust to make the visits. Here are some things to consider during your visit.

  • If possible, the nursing home should be close by so that family members can visit regularly. It’s also easier to keep an eye on the level of care being given.
  • What is the security like for the building? Ask about visiting hours and any restrictions on visits.
  • Talk with the staff and observe how they treat residents. Are the interactions friendly, polite, and respectful? Do they call residents by their name?
  • Is there a licensed nursing staff available 24-hours a day? Is a registered nurse available at least 8 hours every day? What happens if a doctor is needed?
  • If there is someone on staff to help with social service needs?
  • Do the residents appear clean, well-groomed, and comfortably dressed?
  • Is the environment well-lit, clean, attractive, and at a comfortable temperature? Are there strong unpleasant smells? Is it very noisy in the dining and common areas?
  • Ask about how staff members are hired – are there background checks? Are staff members assigned to specific residents? What is the ratio of staff to residents?
  • Ask about the food and meal schedule. Are there choices for meals? Can they accommodate special diets? Ask if the staff helps residents with eating if needed. Do they make sure the residents are drinking enough fluids? How is this measured?
  • What are the rooms like? Can a resident bring in personal belongings or furniture? How secure are personal belongings?
  • Are there activities available for residents? offers a helpful Nursing Home Checklist you may want to take with you as you check out different facilities:

Try to visit again at a different time of day and week. This can help you get a fuller picture of each facility.


Nursing home care is expensive, and most health insurance won’t cover the cost. Often people cover the cost using a combination of self-payment, Medicare, and Medicaid.

  • If you have Medicare, it may pay for short-term care in a nursing home after a 3-day hospitalization. It does not cover long-term care.
  • Medicaid does pay for nursing home care, and most people in nursing homes are on Medicaid. However, you have to be eligible based on your income. Often people start by paying out of pocket. Once they spend down their savings they can apply for Medicaid – even if they’ve never been on it before. However, spouses are protected against losing their home to pay for a partner’s nursing home care.
  • Long-term care insurance, if you have it, may pay for short- or long-term care. There are many different types of long-term insurance; some only pay for nursing home care, others pay for a range of services. You may not be able to get this type of insurance if you have a pre-existing condition.

It’s a good idea to get legal advice when considering how to pay for nursing care – especially before spending all of your savings. Your local Area Agency on Aging may be able to direct you to legal resources. You can also visit for more information.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles