Report on the Size and Characteristics of the Residential Care Population from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy have prepared a study to better understand the size and characteristics of the long-term care population. Some key findings are as follows:

• 6.5 % of those age 65 or older, 2.2 million people, live in a residential care facility.
• Most of these 2.2 million, 1.45 million live in nursing homes, with more than 750,000 living in alternative residential care settings.
• Relative to older persons in traditional private housing, the residential care population was far more likely to receive help with ADLs and to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.
• The prevalence of disability and dementias is dramatically higher in facility residential care than in community care settings, and higher yet in nursing homes.
• Persons living in residential care facilities are more likely to have incomes below $10,000, roughly the federal poverty level for older couples.

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