What is a skilled nursing facility?

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A skilled nursing facility provides medical, nursing, social and rehabilitative services for older persons who require 24-hour nursing care and supervision.

A physician's order is required for admission to a nursing facility. Staff members are available to assist residents with their activities of daily living (such as dressing, bathing and meals); however, residents are encouraged to do as much for themselves as they can, to help them maintain their own independence.

Many nursing facilities offer Alzheimer's, hospice and respite care. Services provided may include, but are not limited to, meals, activities, laundry, housekeeping, therapies, transportation and religious activities.

Staff members assist residents who have incontinence problems. Residents may be able to walk on their own or might be totally dependent on staff. Residents may be disoriented, and memory may be severely impaired.

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