Choosing the Best Place to Live  
Nursing Homes

Nursing homes provide a wide range of services including 24-hour nursing attention, on-call physicians, personal care, meals, laundry and recreation.

People enter nursing homes for two very different reasons. Some go to a nursing home for a short time to finish recovering after a hospital stay. Medicare and other health insurance will pay for this temporary nursing home care for rehabilitation.

Many people live in nursing homes because they have become frail, confused or ill and need ongoing personal and medical assistance. Many nursing home residents require this kind of long term (or custodial) care.

Long term care in a nursing home can cost an individual as much as $6,000 a month or more. Medicare and other health insurance may only pay for temporary care or rehabilitation. Medicare or most health insurance does not cover long term care on an on-going basis.

Some nursing home residents use their own personal resources, including long-term care insurance policies, to pay these costs. Others need to apply for assistance from the Rhode Island Long Term Care Medical Assistance Program, also known as Medicaid, either at the beginning of their stay or when their resources have been reduced. To qualify, individuals must meet certain financial, program and medical guidelines.

Special rules apply to couples. They provide for a spouse at home to keep assets and income to protect his or her standard of living.

For more information regarding LTC Medical Assistance guidelines or to apply for assistance contact your DHS Long Term Care Regional Office or call:

• DHS Info line at 462-5300 for the number of the LTC office in your community.

For information that can help you or a loved one choose a nursing home, or to express concerns about the care a loved one is receiving please call:

• The Alliance for Better Long Term Care at 785-3340.

• The RI Department of Health Division of Facilities Regulation at 222-2566.

• The RI Department of Elderly Affairs at 462-4000.

• The RI Association of Facilities and Services for the Aging at 453-0040.

• The RI Health Care Association at 732-9333.

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