Residents of nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities, are cared for by a round-the-clock nursing staff as well as a licensed physician. Some nursing homes also have in-house physical and occupational therapists to assist residents.

Although some people live in a nursing home temporarily, to recover from a major surgery, for example, most are there for long-term care because they are unable to live independently and have more acute medical needs. A nursing home is recommended for those who need 24-hour supervised care.

Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility
nursing home
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Nursing homes are usually structured with individual rooms along long hallways, giving nursing and other staff quick access in case of emergency. Residents may have private or semi-private rooms, and as in assisted living facilities, share common areas like dining and recreation rooms.

Since women have a longer life expectancy, nearly three-quarters of nursing home residents are women, and around half are age 85 and older. About 42% of residents in skilled nursing facilities were diagnosed with some kind of dementia.

A nursing home is the most intense level of long-term care for seniors and accordingly, is the most expensive.

According to the American Council on Aging, average nursing home costs in the U.S. range between $93,075 and $105,850 per year.

However, annual nursing home costs vary quite a bit by location, with a low of $64,970 in Alabama to a high of $465,375 in Alaska for a shared room. 

If you are in need of skilled nursing facility care and have Medicaid, you are in luck; Medicaid pays 100% of nursing home costs. Medicare pays for some nursing home care, but only pays the full amount for 20 days, and 80% for the next 80 days. 

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