A nursing home is a health care facility, licensed by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, that offers a protective, therapeutic environment for those who need rehabilitative care or can no longer live independently because of chronic physical or mental conditions that require round-the-clock care.
Services Available — A nursing home offers a full array of personal, dietary, therapeutic, medical, rehabilitative, social, spiritual, recreational, housekeeping, and nursing services.
Residents are involved in decisions about their care and receive services based on their individual needs. Some will return home after a brief rehabilitative stay. Others may need care for an extended period due to chronic health conditions.
Living Arrangement — Semi-private or private rooms.
Payment — Generally, all or part of the cost of nursing home care is met by residents or their families. Traditional Medicare meets the cost of short-term, rehabilitation care in any qualified Medicare facility with a required patient payment for co-insurance and the deductible. The number of days covered is usually very few.
Medicaid meets the cost of ongoing care in most facilities for those with income and resources below a certain level.
Factors to Consider
- Does the facility participate in the Medicare or Medicaid program? Participation in such programs can assist in meeting the cost of care.
- Are amenities (such as private rooms, individual televisions, private telephones) available and at what cost?
- Does the resident’s physician visit the nursing facility?
- What activity programs and special events are held at the facility? What excursions are planned for those able to take advantage of them? What religious activities are offered?
- What is the facility’s policy on “do not resuscitate” orders, advance directives, medical power of attorney and other end-of-life decisions?
- Do the residents appear comfortable, well-groomed and involved in meaningful activities?
- Is the overall facility well-maintained, pleasing, cheerful? Does the staff seem friendly, caring and accommodating to residents and visitors?
- What are visiting provisions? Is there a private area for visits? What are the normal visiting hours?