Nursing Homes Explained

“Nursing home” is a term often used to describe any type of business that serves dependent adults such as elders, paraplegics, or special needs patients.

Although a nursing home itself is indeed a business, other types of nuanced care facilities serve different types of residents. Should a resident, patient, or familly member experience neglect, abuse, or mistreatment at the hands of one of these businesses, a nursing home lawyer should be your first call. Having said that, concerned caregivers should learn the different types of nursing homes and assisted living facilities out there, and know which might apply to their unique case.

While many people in our society might think that “nursing home” is a catch-all term for these types of services, it’s important to note that there is a difference between nursing homes and assisted living/residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs).

  • Nursing Home: The distinguishing factor in a nursing home is that it must be licensed by a Department of Health (DOH) to meet the standards of a medical facility. In California, it is the California Department of Public Health. Here in Belgum, Fry & Van Allen’s home state, in order to receive payment for their services from Medicare and Medi-Cal, a nursing home must comply with various specific state and federal regulations. The vast majority opt in to participate in Medicare and Medi-Cal.
  • Assisted Living/Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFE): Unlike nursing homes, assisted living homes and RCFEs are not medical institutions, and therefore are not bound to meeting the medical standards at state and federal levels. Therefore, the staff does not necessarily need to have a medical background. Generally speaking, the core services in assisted living homes/RCFEs are supervising residents, and helping them with their basic life needs like showering, eating, and transportation. A different set of state and federal regulations applies to these facilities.

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities Explained

Using the two descriptions above, here are the different facilities that make up nursing homes and assisted living/RCFEs.

  • Nursing home / Skilled nursing facility
  • Assisted living home / Residential home
  • Elderly home / RCFE
  • Convalescent home
  • Hospice house

Within these different types of homes, a multitude of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, and malpractice cases can occur, all of which can be handled by a nursing home abuse lawyer such as those at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen. Information is power, so knowing the specifics of your case, and the institution where they occurred, is the right first step in ensuring that your nursing home abuse lawyer can represent you.

Nursing Home / Skilled Nursing Facility

A nursing home is often recommended for people who do not need to be in a hospital at all times, but who cannot be cared for at home. These types of businesses are generally staffed 24-hours a day by nurses whose job is to tend to the patients’ medical needs. Patient populations in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are not restricted to just elders.

Skilled nursing facility and nursing home are interchangeable terms, though the medical community generally prefers “skilled nursing facility” as the industry standard. Skilled nursing facilities require health professionals like registered nurses (RNs) and licensed therapists for their residents.

Assisted Living Home / Residential Home

Like the core definition at the beginning of this article states, the primary difference between an assisted living home and a nursing home/skilled nursing facility is the presence of licensed medical care. A skilled nursing facility provides medical care that has similarities to what a patient would experience in a hospital setting while assisted living facilities primarily provide care like you’d see in a home setting.

In assisted living/residential homes, there is an emphasis put on social considerations for the resident population as well. A nursing home abuse lawyer can still help with any mistreatment, abuse, or neglect cases occurring at an assisted living home which, depending on the resident’s needs, can include dehydration, assault, or emotional abuse. Residential homes and assisted living homes are interchangeable terms. The locations for residential homes of businesses are often smaller buildings tucked in neighborhood settings.

Elderly Home / RCFE

Elderly homes, which are referred to in the industry as “residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFE)” are reserved specifically for elderly patients as the name suggests. Sometimes referred to as a retirement homes or senior living apartments, RCFEs are usually apartment-style facilities that create a safe and monitored social environment for their elderly residents and include staff that are typically not licensed medical professionals.

Convalescent Home

Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRF), often referred to as convalescent homes,  have more of a focus on rehabilitation than just day-to-day care. Considered a medical service, the objective of a convalescent home is to be able to release patients from their care once their rehab is complete, as opposed to a skilled nursing facility or assisted living home which is usually cater to longer term care. However, medical malpractice, abuse, and mistreatment can still occur at an IRF, and a nursing home abuse lawyer can help with this type of case.

Hospice House

Hospice, sometimes referred to as “end-of-life” care, is a special kind of service reserved for treating patients who have been given a terminal diagnosis. The purpose of hospice to make the final days of a patient’s life as qualitative and comfortable as possible. Hospice is sometimes referred to as palliative care and can extend into providing emotional and spiritual support for the family and friends of the hospice patient. Live-in facilities that provide hospice care are referred to as hospice houses. They are typically converted residential houses you find in a neighborhood setting, similar to an IRF. Hospice can still lend itself to mistreatment, abuse, and neglect of its patients, so a nursing home abuse lawyer can still help seek justice against unethical hospice practices.

Belgum, Fry & Van Allen: Compassionate Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Belgum, Fry & Van Allen is made up of nursing home abuse lawyers that have had tremendous success in litigating different cases in every kind of nursing home and assisted living facility across Southern California. These include:

  • $1.75 million dependent adult abuse case (53-year-old patient)
  • $1.2 million medical malpractice case (72-year-old patient)
  • $1.6 million dependent adult abuse case (32-year-old patient)

Belgum, Fry & Van Allen offers free evaluations to anyone who believes they have a claim for a dependent adult abuse case occurring in any of the institutions described above.

Remember that whether it’s physical or emotional abuse, medical malpractice, neglect, or worse, don’t wait to seek justice for your loved one. Fill out the free evaluation form and let Belgum, Fry & Van Allen be the nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you navigate the legal waters for you to get the justice you and your loved one deserve.