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This content was last updated on 2/13/2024

What is nursing home care?

Nursing home care is for people who don't need to be in a hospital but can't be cared for at home. All Kentucky nursing homes must have a nurse on duty at all time, a registered nurse during the day, a licensed practical nurse at night.  All Kentucky nursing homes offer 24 hour basic medical and personal care – help with things like bathing and dressing and medications.  Most offer skilled care and rehabilitation services.

Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital.  Other nursing homes try to be more like home. 

Some nursing homes have special care units for people with serious memory problems. Some will let couples live together if they want, unless there is a documented reason.  Nursing homes are not only for older adults, but for anyone who requires 24-hour care.

How do I pick a nursing home?
  • Find nursing homes in your area. 
  • Compare the quality of the nursing homes you are interested in.
  • Visit the nursing homes you are interested in or have someone visit for you. 
  • Choose the nursing home that best meets your needs.
How do I find a nursing home in my area?
  • Ask relatives or friends you trust.
  • Ask your doctor and ask what nursing homes your doctor visits.
  • Go here to find and compare providers near you.  
  • Contact your local Long Term Care Ombudsman program.  They can provide a list of all facilities in your area.
  • If you’re in the hospital, ask your social  worker to help you find a nursing home that meets your needs and helps with your transfer when you’re ready to be discharged.
How do I compare nursing homes?
How do I visit a nursing home and what should I look for?
  • After you have made some choices of possible nursing homes, call and make an appointment to meet with someone on the staff. You should also visit the nursing homes at other times without an appointment. 
  • Use the Nursing Home Checklist to help you know what to look for during your visit.  Fill out a checklist for each nursing home you visit so you have information to compare.   Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your visit.

The checklist can be found in the Resource box on the Planning Ahead & Elder Law topic page.

How do I decide which nursing home is best for me?

When you have all the information that’s important to you about choosing a nursing home, you should  talk with people who understand your personal and health care needs and who you trust.  This can be your family, friends, doctor, clergy, hospital discharge planner or social worker.  Show them the checklists for the nursing homes you are considering.

This is an important decision so make sure to take your time and consider all your options.

If I have concerns about the quality of care or the services a nursing home provides, is there someone I can contact?

Yes. You can contact the Kentucky Long Term Care Ombudsman that works with the nursing home.  Go here to find the ombudsman that works for a particular nursing home 

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