Nursing Facilities 

Nursing facilities provide 24-hour care to seniors who have physical or memory problems and  require around the clock medical care and supervision. 

A nursing facility is primarily made up of three types of services:

  • Skilled nursing – medical care and related services
  • Rehabilitation – temporary care due to injury, disability, or illness
  • Long term care – health-related care and services needed regularly due to an ongoing mental or physical condition


The services nursing facilities offer can vary from facility to facility. Their services primarily focus on medical recovery and include the resident’s room and board, medication monitoring, personal care (such as feeding, dressing, bathing, grooming, etc.), and 24-hour emergency care.  

However, providing  social and recreational events are also an important service in nursing facilities. 

Social and recreational events positively impact the emotional wellness of residents and have been proven to improve sleep, reduce cognitive decline, and help with physical functions. Some common activities include birthday and holiday parties, reading groups, crafts, brain games, and light exercise. 

Is a Nursing Facility Right for Your Loved One? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common health conditions found in nursing facilities are dementia, arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease. However, a nursing facility may be right for your loved one if they need 24-hour medical care, aren’t mobile, are at high risk of falling, can’t feed themselves, suffer from incontinence, or need help with daily activities such as bathing and grooming. 

Oftentimes, seniors only remain in a nursing facility for a short time after being in the hospital. Once they recover, they return home. If their condition is chronic or ongoing,  it is common for nursing home residents to live in the community permanently.

Eligibility for nursing home care varies by state. It’s important to contact your Medicaid or government county agency to understand your state’s requirements.

Nursing Facilities vs Assisted Living

The main difference between nursing care and assisted living is that nursing facilities often provide a higher level of care to their residents.  Their 24-hour care care can range from medical treatments and monitoring to specially trained professional services (such as physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists). On the other hand, assisted living residents live a much more independent lifestyle and only recieve help with their medical or personal tasks. 

Medicaid Coverage

Services provided in a Medicaid Nursing Facility (NF) must be licensed and certified by the state survey agency. Individuals who are eligible for the Medicaid program can get Medicaid NF services only if there are no other payment options.

In some states individuals applying for NF residence may be eligible for Medicaid under higher eligibility limits than those used for residents of an institution. See your state Medicaid agency for more information.

Next Steps

When choosing a nursing facility, it is recommended to visit several locations and meet with the director and nursing director to discuss questions. Be sure to have your questions prepared for the community ahead of time. A few questions we recommend are: 

  • What are the safety protocols?
  • What is your staff-to-resident ratio?
  • What services can you provide?
  • What events do you have for residents? How often? 

While you are in their community for a tour, look for cleanliness of the community, handicap access, and the wellbeing of the residents. 

While moving your loved one into a nursing facility can be a difficult decision for your family, it is oftentimes the smartest thing to do. If you are interested in beginning your search for a nursing facility, we can help! Contact us today to get started!



We understand the decision to place your loved one in an assisted living community is often overwhelming, however necessary. When it comes to the care necessary for those who can no longer safely care for themselves, Senior Living Communities Near You is here to assist with the resources you need to make the best decision for you and your family. Take a look at our info sheet on Assisted Living.

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