Services Offered by Nursing Homes

Understanding the quality, type, and diversity of the services offered in a nursing home is an essential element in making an informed decision about what facility to trust with your family member. Nursing home facilities are widely varied in this regard -- ranging from facilities that offer very few auxiliary services to those that take great pride in the comprehensive care options they provide.

What follows is a general listing of those services good nursing homes should provide to their residents. The inclusion of these services can be considered the hallmark of a quality facility.

The BasicsElderly Woman with a Nurse

The most basic set of services that any nursing home should provide include a room, meals, nursing supervision, medical care when necessary, and social activities. To expand on these categories, the room may be private or shared, but housekeeping and linen service should absolutely be included in the cost.

Meals should match dietary requirements for the resident and provide for complete nutritional needs. Because of illness or condition, each resident should be evaluated individually for dietary needs.

Nursing supervision should be 24 hours and be provided by an on-site staff of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and nurses' aides. Medical evaluation should be carried out on a regular basis by a physician who will consult with the on-site staff about each resident.

Social activities may take many forms in a basic nursing home facility, but they should be sufficient to stimulate the resident intellectually and emotionally.

Additional Services

The next tier of care, sometimes requiring an additional fee, will be the mark of a superior nursing facility. For residents who require it, rehabilitation services such as occupational, physical, respiratory, and speech therapy may be available. An on-site pharmacy, laboratory, and radiological lab will make the residents' lives easier and far more convenient. Dental services -- whether on-site or mobile -- will avoid the difficulties associated with a trip to an outside facility. Some nursing homes will also provide personal care items as part of the service so that they do not need to be purchased and provided by the resident or the resident's family.

Anyone considering a nursing home or nursing care facility should be aware of any special needs. If special medical needs are required, they should figure into the decision making process. It is helpful to know that there are facilities that provide for needs which may include: kidney dialysis, respiratory care, care for Alzheimer's and dementia, Parkinson's care, and care for the terminally ill, including hospice.

In addition, to keep your loved one safe in a nursing home be sure to read our nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect pages. And if you suspect abuse or neglect use our nursing home abuse lawyer page to find an experienced nursing home abuse law firm.

References:

"Helpguide.org - Skilled Nursing Facilities." 2009. http://www.helpguide.org/elder/nursing_homes_skilled_nursing_facilities.htm (accessed Febuary 25, 2010).

"Nursinghomerank - Different Type of Nursing Home Care." 2009http://www.nursinghomerank.com/nursing-home-care/ (accessed January 15, 2010).