LTC population is growing more diverse

The long-term care population has branched out further in age and ethnicity over recent decades, according to new research published in late June in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Proportions of nursing home residents younger than 65 and those older than 85 increased 7% and 4.5%, respectively, from 1995 to 2012. The majority of residents were still between 65- and 85-years-old, researchers noted. The numbers of African-American and Hispanic residents has increased by 9% and 3.9%, respectively.

Investigators with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine used data from the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, nursing home surveys and the Nursing Home Data Compendium to identify trends in long-term care utilization and demographics. 

The volume of male nursing home residents grew nearly 50% from the early 1970s to 2012, although the ratio of male to female residents remained the same. The proportion of married residents also increased to 33% in 2012, up from 12% in 1973.