Report offers detailed numbers, facts about long-term care

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com, Practical Diabetology, Home Care Technology report and on HealthStyles Radio (WBAI-FM, NYC). She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, NYC, and a co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

LTC-reportThe first in-depth look at long term care services in the United States was released last week by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Long-Term Care Services in the United States: 2013 Overview“ (PDF) analyzes supply, organizational characteristics, staffing and services offered by providers of long-term care services provided to some 8 million people in 2012. These findings establish a baseline for monitoring trends and effects of policy changes within and across the major sectors of long-term care services as policy makers, providers, researchers and advocates look to meet the needs of an aging population.

Key findings include :

  • 58,500 paid, regulated long-term care services providers served about 8 million people in the United States in 2012. There were 273,200 participants enrolled in adult day services centers, 1,383,700 residents in nursing homes, and 713,300 residents in residential care communities every day.
  • Provider sectors differed in ownership, and average size and supply varied by region: The supply of nursing home and residential care beds and the capacity of adult day services centers varied by region, suggesting geographic differences in access for consumers of long-term care services. For example, the supply of residential care beds was higher in the Midwest and West than in the Northeast and the South, and the capacity of adult day services centers was higher in the West than in the South.
  • Provider sectors differed in their nursing staffing levels, use of social workers, and variety of services offered. For example, the average daily staff hours per resident or participant day was higher in nursing homes than in residential care communities and adult day services centers; more hospices and nursing homes offered mental health and counseling services compared with adult day services centers and residential care communities
  • Rates of use of long-term care services varied by sector and state. The highest daily-use rate was for nursing home residents, followed by residential care residents; the lowest rate was for adult day services centers. For example, average adult day daily-use rates ranged from a low of fewer than 1 participant per 1,000 persons in West Virginia, to a high of 12 participants in New Jersey.
  • Users of long-term care services varied by sector in their demographic and health characteristics and functional status Adult day services center participants and home health patients tended to be younger than users in other sectors. Adult day services center participants were the most racially and ethnically diverse among the five sectors: 20.1 percent were Hispanic and 16.7 percent were non-Hispanic black. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias ranged in prevalence from 30.1 percent among home health patients, to 48.5 percent among nursing home residents.

The report contains numerous charts, graphs, and tables to help refine or enhance your stories.

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