By Black Radio Network Staff
PROVIDENCE, RI - According to a new report from Brown University, the number of minorities living in nursing homes is steadily growing. One explanation for this rise is greater access to nursing home care.
Researchers say, the proportion of white elderly in nursing homes is declining.
It used to be that whites were generally the only people who could afford a nursing home and the only minorities in these facilities were staff, but minorities have poured into nursing homes in the last decade, at a time when whites have left in even greater numbers.
The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that elderly blacks, Hispanics and Asians are gaining greater access to nursing home care.
Whites, having greater economic resources, may be finding better alternatives to a nursing home, Lead author Zhanlian Feng, assistant professor of community health in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, says.
Analysis shows that between 1999 and 2008 the nation's nursing home population shrank by 6.1 percent to about 1.2 million people. The number of blacks rose 10.8 percent, the number of Hispanics rose by 54.9 percent and the number of Asians rose by 54.1 percent. Meanwhile, the number of whites in nursing homes has decreased by 10.2 percent nationwide.