Nursing Homes

Nursing homes also referred to as skilled nursing facilities or long term care facilities are home to approximately 5% of the older population.     The nursing home industry is growing at a fast pace and will continue to grow since there are approximately 72 million baby boomers in the United States that may need this type of care in the future.   There are over 16,600 nursing homes in the United States.   These facilities include a diverse mix of patients that fund their stays through private pay, private health insurance, and Medicaid or Medicare programs.   Kentucky has over 23,000 people who live in nursing homes, which is a figure that is projected to increase over the next several years.    
A senior citizen (65+) has about a 1 in 4 chance of spending time in a nursing home before the end of their life.   Nursing homes provide around the clock care for people who are unable to care for themselves.   Although the majority of nursing home populations consist of the elderly, there is also a mix of patients who are there for short-term rehabilitation services.   These patients are typically recovering from an illness, surgery or injury and need therapy before returning to independent living.   Rehabilitation services are performed by a variety of therapists, including physical, speech and occupational.  
Nursing home staff members consist of facility administrators, administrative staff, bedside caregivers (doctors, nurses, LPN’s, CNA’s and therapist) and ancillary staff (dietary personnel, housekeeping, etc.).   Staffing regulations fluctuate state to state, however, federal law requires all nursing homes to provide   at least one RN for at least 8 straight hours a day, 7 days a week, and either an RN or LPN/LVN on duty 24 hours per day.     According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are about 3 million people who are employed in nursing facilities throughout the United States.   Wages for employees vary tremendously, but the majority of resident care is...