Study: Bathing difficulties raise risk for elderly nursing home admissions

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Persistent problems with bathing increase an elderly person's chance of being admitted to a nursing home by 77%, according to a new study by doctors at Yale University School of Medicine.

Researchers at Yale's Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center followed 754 people, aged 70 and older, who lived in New Haven, CT, for more than six years. A total of 15% of participants had a long-term care admission. One persistent bathing disability occurred in more than half of those participants admitted to long-term care.

The study, which was funded by the National Institute on Aging, was published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.