Sign in / Join

Nursing Home, Rest Home, whats the difference?

When looking for a Nursing home…or a Rest home…are they the same, or really different? Maybe its just terminology.  Maybe it’s a little of both.

This gets a little wordy, but according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and it’s National Center for Health for Statistics, there were 15,600 Nursing Homes in 2014. Among them 69.8% were for profit operations. They had 1.7 million licensed beds and 1.4 million residents.

There are specific federal requirements for Nursing homes. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, they must  do a whole bunch of important things:

  • Have sufficient nursing staff.
  • Conduct initially a comprehensive and accurate assessment of each resident’s functional capacity.
  • Develop a comprehensive care plan for each resident.
  • Prevent the deterioration of a resident’s ability to bathe, dress, groom, transfer and ambulate, toilet, eat, and to communicate.
  • Provide, if a resident is unable to carry out activities of daily living, the necessary services to maintain good nutrition, grooming, and personal oral hygiene.
  • Ensure that residents receive proper treatment and assistive devices to maintain vision and hearing abilities.
  • Ensure that residents do not develop pressure sores and, if a resident has pressure sores, provide the necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection, and prevent new sores from developing.
  • Provide appropriate treatment and services to incontinent residents to restore as much normal bladder functioning as possible.
  • Ensure that the resident receives adequate supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents.
  • Maintain acceptable parameters of nutritional status.
  • Provide each resident with sufficient fluid intake to maintain proper hydration and health.
  • Ensure that residents are free of any significant medication errors.
  • Promote each resident’s quality of life.
  • Maintain dignity and respect of each resident.
  • Ensure that the resident has the right to choose activities, schedules, and health care.
  • Provide pharmaceutical services to meet the needs of each resident.
  • Be administered in a manner that enables it [the nursing home] to use its resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Maintain accurate, complete, and easily accessible clinical records on each resident.

Nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds must at the least meet the federal nursing home regulations. However, your state, may require more.  Your Local health departments have their specific regulations. You can find them online to. Try Information about each state’s laws .

There are also Residential Care Facilities for 60 and older seniors.  Their only onsite medical services are generally maintaining storage of medications that residents administer themselves. Their general services include room and board, housekeeping and facility supervision. The direct assistance they provide residents ranges from personal hygiene, dressing and help with eating and walking.

These facilities are intended for older persons who can’t live alone but don’t require round the clock nursing. You’ll here them referred to as both assisted living and rest home facilities. They are state regulated and requirements may differ from state to state, but they must all be licensed, regularly inspected by the appropriate state agencies and pass health and safety standards set by their state.

So, there is a difference between nursing homes and the rest home/assisted living group. Each depends on the level of care needed. Of course costs differ in each category and within the categories. Start your research with your state health department and go from there. Locate the facilities that you are interested in, check costs and above all referrals or testimonials, and visit the finalists.

Obviously this article is only a starting point. But I hope it does at least that for you and or your loved ones.




Leave a reply