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A nursing home, convalescent home, skilled nursing facility (SNF), care home, rest home or intermediate care facility provides a type of residential care. It is a place of residence for people who require, as determined by a local hospital social worker and their nursing facility provider, continual nursing care and have significant difficulty coping with the required activities of daily living. Nursing aides and skilled nurses are usually available 24 hours a day, and most are large congregate care facilities with government funding. These facilities are supplemental or competing classes to home care, home health, community services-non-facility, and home and community-based Medicaid waiver services.
Before the Industrial Revolution, elderly care was largely in the hands of the family who would support elderly relatives who could no longer do so themselves. Charitable institutions and parish poor relief were other sources of care. In the US, it is still the position of the US government that the family is responsible for care.
In most countries, there is a degree of government oversight and regulation over the nursing home industry. These regulatory bodies are usually tasked with ensuring patient safety for the residents and improving the standard of care.
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