Nursing home centers (also known as skilled nursing facilities) have come a long way over the past few decades. Although they're still not perfect by any means, nursing homes today are much improved over their predecessors. In the 1950's and 1960's, nursing homes (or old folks homes as they were often referred to as) were scary places for senior citizens. Today that trend is changing. Although nursing homes can still be scary, today there is significantly more federal and state oversight of nursing homes. All nursing homes must meet certain requirements, such as having a nurse on staff 24-hours a day, seven days per week in order to keep their doors open and have to meet all sorts of requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid, Medicare and other government funding programs.Nursing homes are generally for two categories of individuals. The first class are the individuals who need assistance in their daily living activities. This means they can not care for themselves on their own day-in and day-out. They need help with one or more activities like preparing meals, bathing, going to the bathroom, getting dressed and so on. Although a large percentage of this group is made up of older people, there are also many younger people who have physical or mental disabilities and cannot care for themselves. The second category of individuals that normally reside in nursing homes are those individuals who need short term care. These individuals include people who are recovering from injuries, surgeries and other situations where they just need a little help to get back on their feet. If you are interested, check out Buffalo Nursing Homes. These people tend to live in the rehab wings of nursing homes.Nursing homes are not cheap. Depending on the part of the country, nursing home costs can range anywhere from $1,000 per month to as high as $10,000 per month and higher. These high costs force many people to look for payment and funding alternatives. Government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid help with nursing home fees. Other private options like long term care insurance programs can help as well.If you are faced with placing a friend, family member or loved one into the care of a nursing home you should research carefully to determine the best place. Talk to people at church, a family physician or other people you respect. Chances are, someone you know has had to research nursing homes and may know of a good one to refer you to. If you do not get good referrals from people you know, a simple Google search can provide a lot of data. Carefully research each option and make sure you tour the facility before you make a final decision. For more info, Buffalo Nursing Homes.