Nursing home

What is a nursing home?

A nursing home is a facility where people who are no longer able to care for themselves reside to receive long-term personal or medical care. It may be a public or private facility, and patients are typically older or chronically ill.

Deeper definition

Patients who live in a nursing home cannot care for themselves, cannot receive care at home, and do not require hospitalization. The staff typically consists of nurse’s aides, nurses, therapists, social workers, recreational assistants and potentially even doctors.

Nursing homes are generally set up like residences or hospitals, depending on the level of care provided. Those set up like residences typically house patients who do not have severe medical needs. Throughout the day, residents can go outside to enjoy meals, socialize, and take advantage of organized activities. Those set up like hospitals may provide medical care and therapies for patients who are chronically ill or who are recovering from a major illness. Some nursing homes may include a special floor or wing for patients dealing with specific issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Nursing home example

Fellowship Community in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, has been named one of the best nursing homes in the country by US News and World Report and the Women’s Choice Award. The facility is divided into four residential areas, each designed to meet the needs of specific patients:

  • Fellowship Courts is a series of single-story townhomes for active senior citizens who are still able to perform most activities on their own but cannot handle the burden of homeownership. Each home has its own kitchen and laundry room, but residents have access to grocery delivery, organized recreational activities, and housekeeping.
  • Fellowship Terrace offers a mixture of independent living and 24-hour personal care. This space includes secure, specialized memory support. Patients have access to a registered nurse 24 hours a day.
  • Fellowship Villa also offers a mix of personal care and independent living. Staff members and support services are available as needed, and residents have access to common areas like a dining room, game room, and wellness center.
  • Fellowship Manor offers short-term rehab and skilled nursing for patients who may eventually move back into their own homes or who are adjusting to the idea of moving into a nursing home.

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