More Latino families choosing 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 researchers, the growing proportion of minorities in nursing homes is occurring partly because they do not have the same access to more desirable forms of care as wealthier whites do.
The study shows that between 1999 and 2008 the nation’s nursing home population shrank by 6.1 percent to just over 1.2 million people. The number of whites in nursing homes decreased by 10.2 percent nationwide, while the number of Hispanics rose by 54.9 percent
The researchers found that the representation of blacks, Hispanics and Asians in nursing homes increased as their share of elderly in the total population increased. In Los Angeles/Long Beach, the increases were 1 percent for blacks, 41 percent for Hispanics and 56 percent among Asians.
According to National Family Caregivers Association, the use of outside care-giving services among Latinos in the past five years has also risen. Home care provider services are growing and are becoming a preferred option among families who have the available resources.
The researchers found that Hispanic elderly are more likely than whites to live in nursing homes of poor quality. These residences are often faced with structural problems, staffing issues and financial trouble.
The loss of home caregivers is occurring even as the growth of the elderly Hispanic population rises dramatically. The researchers estimate there are 4.5 million Hispanic elderly in 2010.
Source: Brown University, New disparity in nursing homes: Whites leave, minorities enter, July 7, 2012.