Changes in Characteristics, Needs, and Payment for Care of Elderly Nursing Home Residents: 1999 to 2004

The proportion of elderly adults over age 65 in nursing homes has declined over the past two decades, most noticeably in recent years. Reasons suggested for this trend include reductions in disability rates among elderly people, improvements in mechanisms for coping with disability, and changes in the residential and long-term care options available to elderly people with disabilities. This report focuses on the characteristics, needs, and payment sources for the care of elderly nursing home residents, as well as changes in these trends as the size of the resident population has declined between 1999 and 2004.

Some of the reports findings include:

  • The number of elderly long-stay nursing home residents (90 days or longer) declined from 1.21 million to 1.06 million between 1999 and 2004, while the demographic profile of these residents changed little during the time period;
  • Disease prevalence was higher and multiple conditions were more common among elderly nursing home residents in 2004 compared to 1999 indicating an increasingly sicker population; and
  • Medicaid is the main payer for elderly long-stay residents, accounting for 68% of these residents in 2004.

Report (.pdf)


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