Sunday, September 30, 2007
Fewer Nursing Home Patients
The USA Today recently reported that 7.4% of Americans aged 75 and older lived in nursing homes in 2006, compared with 8.1% in 2000 and 10.2% in 1990. The article further noted that the percentage of the oldest age group of seniors living in nursing homes has also been dropping. Less than 16% of the 85-plus population was in such facilities in 2006, according to the Census. In 1985, more than 21% in that age group lived in nursing homes. Few would deny that keeping seniors out of an institutional setting, for as long as possible, is good social policy. I'm taken by these observations, especially since they indicate a reduction in nursing home use, before the wide spread adoption of aging services technology.