Study: State spending affects nursing home use

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Elderly people requiring long-term care are less likely to enter a nursing home if their state spends more money on home- and community based services, according to new research.

States vary greatly in their commitment to provide home- and community- based services such as personal care, adult day care, nutrition, and transportation, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. State spending on home- and community-based services for the elderly ranged from $35 to $1,300 per person per year, the analysis indicates.

Regardless of what they spend, states spending double on home- and community-based services would reduce the likelihood of nursing home admissions among childless seniors by 35%, researchers estimate. The National Institute on Aging funded the study, which appeared in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.