Don’t be surprised if a member of the U.S. Census Bureau pays a visit to your nursing home over the next few weeks.
The bureau counts people where they reside on April 1. But for nursing homes, workers with the bureau make advanced visits. Nursing homes are classified as “group quarters,” according to Muriel Jackson, media specialist with the Chicago office of the 2010 Census. The Group Quarters Advance Visit started on Feb. 1 and will go until March 19, said Jackson, who spoke with McKnight’s about the process.
Following up on the advance visit, workers return to count the residents and classify the type of group quarters.
“We have a census questionnaire—that’s the tool, the vehicle that’s used to gather the information,” Jackson explained of the enumeration process.
Ideally, nursing home residents would complete the forms themselves, she said. If a resident is unable to fill out the forms, a census worker or staff member may be able to help them.
Because these counts are conducted in nursing facilities, the Census Bureau asks family members of nursing home residents to leave that person off their own census form, even if they will later return to that address. Otherwise, they may be counted twice.
More information on the 2010 census process can be found at www.2010census.gov.