Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are also called skilled nursing facilities, intermediate facilities, care homes, convalescent homes, and rest homes. Residents of nursing homes usually require continual nursing care and have significant difficulty handling activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, food preparation, toileting, and the like). In nursing homes, skilled nurses and nurses’ aides are typically available all day every day. Residents may also receive physical, occupational, or other types of rehabilitative care. Nursing homes provide the highest level of care for older adults except for hospitals. Custodial care is standard at nursing homes and includes taking care of such needs as getting in and out of bed and assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and the like. Nursing homes also provide a high level of medical care. Typically, a licensed physician supervises each patient’s care.

An official government booklet (Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home by the Department of Health and Human Services, USA) can be very helpful. The purpose of the booklet is to help people pick out the right nursing home. The guide covers comparing nursing homes, paying for nursing care, nursing home resident rights, and where to call for help. The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), listed below, will assist people of all incomes and ages with selecting a nursing home.

Before deciding that nursing care is needed, consider whether one or more community services can help with personal care and activities as well as medical needs, allowing people to remain in their own homes. Community Services are listed throughout this resource manual and include: Adult Day Care under Dementia Care, Food and Meals Programs, Recreation, Home Health Care, Legal Services, Assisted Living under Housing for Seniors, and Hospices.

The Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home lists 3 steps to take, after identifying suitable nursing homes. 1. Compare the quality of the nursing home candidates by examining health inspection and fire safety inspection reports, nursing home staffing rates, quality measures such as the number of stars. 2. Visit nursing homes of interest or have someone you trust visit for you. 3. Compare nursing homes in terms of meeting your major needs. The guide presents a Nursing Home Checklist for a comprehensive evaluation.

1 (844) 768-1795

Bangor, ME, USA

Services: This phone referral service is free and provides names of nursing homes in Maine and compares costs, amenities, and services of several homes.