According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, the United States contains 15,600 nursing homes with over 1.7 million total licensed beds. While the overall occupancy rates of these facilities decreased during the pandemic, a decrease that has held strong over the past couple of years, nursing homes still represent a vital source of housing and care for a large number of seniors.
What Is a Nursing Home?
A nursing home is a type of residential care facility that provides 24/7 care, both medical and nonmedical. Generally, residents of nursing homes are medically stable but can’t return home due to mobility issues and/or the need for chronic condition care.
Unlike assisted living, which focuses almost exclusively on assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), nursing homes will also provide chronic condition care, rehabilitative therapies, and palliative care, among other things.
Nursing Homes vs. Skilled Nursing Facilities
While the terms are often used interchangeably, nursing homes generally refer to facilities that offer permanent or long-term care, while skilled nursing facilities offer temporary care for residents while they undergo necessary rehabilitative treatment.
Turnover rates for nursing homes are so high that data from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) predicts that they won’t return to pre-pandemic employment levels until 2027.
Despite the slight decrease in total residents, nursing facilities still provide an essential source of housing and care for seniors. Costs for nursing homes also continue to rise, making it essential for families to plan for this type of care.
To learn more about nursing homes, how they work, and how to pay for them, read our helpful guides:
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here