Options for long term care solutions are dropping in poor, urban areas across the United States according to a new study by researchers at Brown University. The study, funded partially by the National Institute on Aging, shows that between 1999 and 2008, nursing home closures in the United States were concentrated disproportionately in poor, urban and predominantly minority neighborhoods. The research shows that the country has lost 5% of its beds during that time period and that closures of nursing homes are twice as likely in the poorest areas than in the richest areas. The findings of the study were published in the January 10th Archives of Internal Medicine and show that where at least one nursing home has closed in the past decade, the distance on average from the prior nursing home to the next closest has increased to 3.81 miles from 2.73 miles.
“This is an issue that is not going to go away, precisely because of the aging of the population and the increasing bifurcation of society into rich and poor,” said Vince Mor, the Florence Pirce Grant University Professor of Community Health at Brown and a senior author of the paper.