White women still constitute majority of oldest LTC residents, CDC finds

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Elderly white women still make up the majority of the oldest nursing home residents, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although other researchers have found the number of white residents is on the decline.

The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics researchers found that 45% of nursing home residents were above 85 years old as of 2004, and that white women are the majority of these residents in skilled nursing facilities, hospice and home care. The researchers also found the “oldest old” generally need help with three or more activities of daily living, with two-thirds needing help with urinary incontinence.

Their study results appear in Research on Aging and are similar to last year's report, although a 2011 Brown University study notes the number of white nursing home residents is declining. Black, Hispanic and Asian residents grew significantly in numbers between 1999 and 2008, researchers said.