What Are Nursing Care Facilities?

Image Courtesy of Kevin Dooley

A Nursing Care Facility (NCF) or Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) is a state licensed, private-care facility that provides 24-hour skilled hospital care for residents who do not require hospitalization but cannot be cared for at home. Also called Long Term Care Facilities, the majority of nursing homes are staffed by caring, trained persons who provide an excellent level of service for their residents.

It pays to shop around when selecting a NCF. Seniors should consult with a trusted doctor or health care practitioner for recommendations of nearby facilities. Plan on visiting at least four or five area facilities, and make an appointment with the administrator or director of nursing. Check to make sure that information provided is consistent with information gathered during the facility tour. Discrepancies between provided information and your own observations indicate possible problems later on. A nursing care facility should have clean floors, and a clean smell. Facilities with dirty floors and a sour smell do not put a high priority on cleanliness, and should not be considered.

In Florida, ask to see the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) inspection report.  Nursing facilities and Assisted Living Facilities are licensed and inspected by AHCA and they offer the following questions that you should ask when researching and/or visiting a facility:

    •        What deficiencies, if any, were cited during the last inspection? (Ask to see AHCA’s report).

    •        How many residents does each nurse and nurse’s aide care for during each shift?

    •        What do they do about medical services and special therapies?

    •        What transportation arrangements for residents are available?

    •        What special training does the staff have?

    •        What are the policies regarding deposits, refunds, and bed holds?

    •        How much advance notice is provided before increasing charges?

    •        How are personal possessions safeguarded?

    •        What activities are available? (Ask to see the calendar).

    •        What are the designated visiting hours, and are exceptions allowed?

    •        Does the nursing home have a program to limit the use of physical restraints?

The answers to these questions, combined with observations and impressions made during facility tours and staff interviews will ease the task of selecting the right nursing care facility.

We have compiled a comprehensive list of Palm Beach County Nursing Care Facilities for your convenience.


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