People go to nursing homes for different reasons, including if they’re sick, hurt, had surgery and need to get better, or have chronic care needs or disabilities that require on going nursing care. This guide to selecting the right nursing home for you or your loved one can help you make informed decisions about nursing home care, whether you’re planning ahead or need to make an unexpected decision.

Before you get started
You may have other long-term care options, like community services, home care, or assisted living, depending on your needs and resources. Before choosing a nursing home, you can check to see if one of these other options is available to you, or if they might help after a nursing home stay.

If you have Medicare
Medicare covers short-term nursing home stays following hospitalization, but generally doesn’t cover long-term care or stays in a nursing home. Medicare only covers home- and community-based long-term care in limited situations.

If you have Medicaid
Medicaid may cover long-term nursing home stays, and home- and community-based services. Home- and community-based services provide opportunities for people with Medicaid to get services in their own homes or community based residential settings. These programs serve a variety of groups, including people with mental illnesses, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or physical disabilities.