Nursing homes in Ohio are seeing younger residents use the facilities, with one in five long-stay Medicaid residents below the age of 65, according to a study from Miami University’s Scripps Gerontology Center.
The study, recently covered by Crain’s Cleveland Business, focused on Medicaid residents who stay for 100 days or more, using data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Funded by the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio General Assembly, the initiative found that 19.9% of nursing home residents in Ohio are under age 65, compared with 17.% of nursing home residents under that age in the rest of the U.S. The state ranked 11th in the country for its proportion of such residents, who are more likely to have a severe mental illness diagnosis but less likely to have a disability that hinders daily living, compared with older residents.
Residents under 65, perhaps not surprisingly, fare better on activities of daily living (ADLs), than nursing home residents over 65; 28% of the population under 65 reported zero or one impairments in ADLs in 2015. Just 10% of residents over age 65 had such low ADL impairments, Crain’s noted.
The differing profile of the under-65 nursing home population emphasize the need for programs tailored to this population, the report’s authors said. Nursing homes are expensive compared with other settings such as residential care facilities or mental health services in the community, a research brief from Scripps about the study noted.
The younger adult group is a challenge for nursing homes, Katherine Judge, a professor of psychology at Cleveland State University, told Crain’s.
“I think the implications are: What are we doing on the community side and on the nursing home side to address the needs?” she told the publication. “It’s not clear, for example, what community services would best meet the needs of these individuals, or at this point how nursing homes might be able to offer different services to address their needs.”
Written by Maggie Flynn