Online:
Visits:
Stories:
Profile image
By Hispanically Speaking News (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

More Hispanic, Minority Elderly Going in to Nursing Homes

Monday, July 16, 2012 22:43
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

More Hispanic, Minority Elderly Going in to Nursing Homes

In the last decade, minorities have poured into nursing homes at a time when whites have left in even greater numbers, according to a new Brown University study that suggests a racial disparity in elder care options in the United States.

At first blush the analysis, published July 7 in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that elderly blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are gaining greater access to nursing home care. But the growing proportion of minorities in nursing homes is coming about partly because they do not have the same access to more desirable forms of care as wealthier whites do, said the study’s lead author Zhanlian Feng, assistant professor of community health in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

“Seemingly, we are closing the gap in terms of minority access to nursing home beds, but I don’t think that is something to celebrate,” Feng said. “They are really the last resort. Most elders would rather stay in their homes, or some place like home, but not a nursing home unless they have to.”

ImageThe new analysis shows that between 1999 and 2008 the nation’s nursing home population shrank by 6.1 percent to just over 1.2 million people. In that time period the number of whites in nursing homes decreased by 10.2 percent nationwide, while the number of blacks rose 10.8 percent, the number of Hispanics rose by 54.9 percent and the number of Asians rose by 54.1 percent. The study also looked at nursing home population changes in the top 10 metropolitan areas for each minority.

Prior research has shown that the nursing homes in predominately minority areas are often of lower quality and are more likely to close, while assisted living facilities are more likely to be built in areas where residents have high incomes. The result, reflected in the figures in the new Health Affairs paper, is a disparity that plays out not only economically and geographically, but also racially, Feng said.

“We know those alternatives are not equally available, accessible, or affordable to everybody, certainly not to many minority elders,” he said.

As policymakers look to “rebalance” elder care from nursing homes to other forms of care, for instance with shifts in Medicaid funding to support home and community-based services, they should account for these disparities, Feng said. As it is, whites are clearly more likely to be using more desirable alternatives; more concerted efforts may be required to promote minority elders’ use of them too, he said.

“Rebalancing is a recognition of most people’s preferences for long-term care,” Feng said. “For that effort to be successful you have to consider who is using what.”

To determine the figures, Feng and his co-authors used the federally mandated Minimum Data Set, which tracks the population of nursing home users and assesses their care needs on a routine basis, because they receive substantial Medicare and Medicaid funding. Similar data is not available for other kinds of elder care, which is predominantly paid for with private insurance dollars.

Published in Notitas de Noticias


Read more at Hispanically Speaking News



Source:

Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories
 

Featured

 

Top Global

 

Top Alternative

 

Register

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.