Hispanic seniors experience quality disparity in nursing home care, report finds

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Hispanic seniors are much more likely to live in nursing homes of “inferior quality” than white older adults, according to a recently released report from Brown University.

Hispanics overall have been less likely to use nursing homes than other ethnicities, in part due to cultural reasons, according to researchers. Traditionally, an adult daughter takes care of an elderly parent at home. But factors such as acculturation and economic concerns have brought more Hispanic women into the U.S. workforce, leaving Hispanic seniors no alternative but nursing home care, researchers say. The percentage of Hispanic nursing home residents rose from 5% in 2000 to 6.4% in 2005, the research shows. At the same time, the percentage of white nursing home patients fell to 79.4% from 83%. The full report appears in the January issue of the journal Health Affairs.

"People with resources can get into very good places or alternatives for nursing home care," says lead researcher Mary Fennel, professor of sociology and community health at Brown. "Everyone else is left with not-very-good facilities that are not performing well."


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