Public Release: 

State spending keeps childless seniors out of nursing homes

The Gerontological Society of America

Older Americans without children have a much lower risk of being admitted to a nursing home if they live in a state that spends more on home- and community-based services (HCBS), according to an article published in the latest issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (Vol. 62B, No. 3).

A team of researchers, headed by Naoko Muramatsu of the University of Illinois at Chicago, sought to determine if variations in state spending had an effect on nursing home admissions, and whether a senior's family status also played a role. Although the association was not statistically significant older people with living children, they found that doubling state HCBS expenditures per person over age 65 would reduce the risk of nursing home admission among childless seniors by 35 percent.

Citing previous research, the authors found that some states spend as little as $35 per person each year on HCBS for seniors, while other states spend more than $1,300 annually.

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Support for the project was provided the National Institute on Aging.

The Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences is a refereed publication of The Gerontological Society of America, the national organization of professionals in the field of aging.

The article abstract is available online at http://psychsoc.gerontologyjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/62/3/S169.

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