Skilled Nursing Facilities

Find Nearby Skilled Nursing Facilities

What are skilled nursing facilities?

Skilled nursing facilities provide round-the-clock nursing care, support for activities of daily living (ADLs), and specialist therapy services in a non-hospital setting. These facilities serve older adults and adults with disabilities who have long-term care needs, as well as adults of all ages who require temporary, post-acute care.

Residents typically live in semi-private or private rooms with shared bathrooms.

Skilled Nursing Facilities (Nursing Homes) vs Assisted Living

Skilled nursing facilities provide much more medical care and monitoring than assisted living facilities. They are required to have a registered nurse (RN) on site 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, and either an RN or licensed practical nurse (LPN) must be on site 24/7. These facilities also have a broader demographic of residents, including those who require short-term rehabilitative care following an injury or illness.

Residents of skilled nursing facilities usually have a greater medical need than those in assisted living homes. As a result, the focus tends to be more on medical care and less on recreation, entertainment and community.

Nursing Homes Assisted Living
Living Area Semi-private or private rooms with shared bathrooms. Apartments with private bathrooms and small kitchens.
Communal areas and outdoor space Limited Yes / Varies
ADLs assistance (help with dressing, bathing, eating, etc.) Yes Yes
Medication management Yes Yes
Meals Yes Yes
Medical care

Registered nurse on site 24/7

Specialist care available (physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy)
Limited
Non-medical transportation Limited / Varies Yes
Medical transportation Covered Not covered
Recreational activities Limited Yes
Cost $7,148/month on average* $3,750/month on average*
Payment options - Medicare (if eligible)
- Medicaid (if eligible)
- Personal funds (if required)
- Long-term care insurance (if you have it)
- Medicaid (if eligible)
- Veteran’s benefits (if eligible)
- Personal funds (if required)
- Long-term care insurance (if you have it)

*https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

What services are included in skilled nursing facilities?

Skilled nursing services vary from facility to facility, but usually include:

  • 24/7 nursing care by a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN)
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Meals and dietary counseling
  • Medication management and administration
  • Wound care
  • IV / nutrition therapy
  • Tube feedings
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Assistance with dressing, bathing, eating and other activities of daily living (ADLs)

Additional services that may be provided at skilled nursing facilities include:

  • Parkinson's
  • Alzheimer's / dementia care
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Recreational therapy
  • Hospice and palliative care

What services are not included in skilled nursing care?

Although it varies by provider, skilled nursing facilities don’t typically include the same level of recreational activities and entertainment services that are common in assisted living communities. They also don’t usually provide non-medical transportation.

How much does skilled nursing care cost and who pays for it?

In 2017, the average cost of skilled nursing care in the United States was $235 per day, or $7,148 per month*. However, costs differ greatly based on where you live, the facility you choose, and the level of care required.

Ways To Pay

People use the following methods, or most often a combination of the following methods, to pay for skilled nursing care:

Medicare

Medicare will cover or partially cover the cost of short-term skilled nursing care if the resident is recovering from an illness or injury. It does not cover long-term skilled nursing care or care for non-acute conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or ALS. Visit medicare.gov to learn more about eligibility requirements.

If the eligibility requirements are met, Medicare will cover:

  • 100% of costs from days 1 to 20
  • 80% of costs from days 21 to 100 (unless you have Medicare Supplemental Insurance, in which case all costs will be covered during this period too)
Medicaid

Long-term skilled nursing care is covered in full by Medicaid for those who meet their state’s medical and financial eligibility requirements. The individual must require ongoing skilled nursing care, their income and assets must fall below a certain threshold, and the care must be provided be a Medicaid-certified facility.

Veterans Benefits and VA Community Living Centers

Veterans and their spouses who meet certain eligibility requirements can receive funding for assisted living care via the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Aid and Attendance Benefit.

If a veteran and/or their spouse is considered “70% disabled,” they also qualify to receive care in Community Living Center (previously called “VA Nursing Homes”).

Personal Funds / Savings

People often use a combination of personal savings and income to pay for any remaining skilled nursing costs that aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or veterans benefits. Older adults who need long-term nursing care may choose to sell their home in order to free up funds for their care.

Insurance

Long-term care insurance and whole life insurance with a long-term care rider are both designed to cover the costs of long-term skilled nursing care. These insurance policies are best purchased when young and healthy, and the amount of coverage varies from plan to plan.

It’s also possible to sell your existing life insurance policy in order to create a long-term benefit plan, or to cancel it entirely for cash value.

Reverse Mortgages, Lines of Credit and Loans

There are ways to use the value of your home to cover skilled nursing costs without needing to sell it outright. A reverse mortgage allows you to borrow against the value of your home, as long as your spouse continues to live in the property. A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is more flexible, allowing you to borrow up to an approved credit limit on an as-needed basis.

Short-term bridge loans are another option for people who need to cover skilled nursing costs while they wait for other funds to become available. For example, if they need to cover costs while they wait for their house to sell or for their VA benefits to kick in.

*https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

How to find the best skilled nursing facilities for your loved ones.

Look for a facility that caters to your needs. If you require long-term care for a person with Alzheimer’s, search for facilities that specialize in memory care. If you require short-term care, search for facilities that focus on post-acute rehabilitation.

Find skilled nursing facilities near you. Whether you need short-term or long-term care, having friends and family close by for routine visits boosts quality of life and helps with recovery.

Avoid large online referral brokers. They’re often more interested in the large finder’s fee they’ll make off of you than in genuinely ensuring your needs are met. Instead search for skilled nursing facilities near you and send care requests via Care Listings.

Visit the facility. The need for skilled nursing care often happens suddenly, with little time for preparation. However, if at all possible, visit the facility first before making a final decision. Tour the grounds and speak to residents. Make sure the facility is clean, free of odors, and that the residents seem well cared for.

Ask about staff ratios and hiring policies. While visiting facilities, ask about the staff/resident ratio. The required ratio varies from state to state, but all facilities are required to post this information. Also enquire about background checks, training and turnover rates. So much of a facility’s overall quality comes down to the quality of its staff.

Review quality ratings. Each month, Medicare-approved skilled nursing facilities are given star ratings for their performance on state health inspections, staffing levels and a combination of other quality measures. Review these star ratings for the current year, as well as past years, to get a better understanding of the facility’s overall quality.

Search 15,646 Skilled Nursing Facilities by State