The Changing Demography of Nursing Homes
Over the past 10 years the part of the nursing home population that is growing the quickest are those who are young and middle-aged adults. Yes, this is a major demographic shift in the traditional nursing home population. Nursing homes have built their reputation on supporting an older adult population. However, today the fastest growing part of the nursing home population is those who are much younger than the traditional stereotypes of nursing home residents.
In examining data from the Department of Health and Human Services, the findings have found that 14 percent of the current nursing home population is made up of those individuals between the ages of 31 and 64. Furthermore, it has increased 10 percent over the last 10 years. This is a very important trend for those professionals who work with the long-term care population.
First and foremost, it will dedicate a broader accommodation of resident needs than has been previous found within nursing homes. Staff training will need to keep up with the changing demographics. Nursing care professionals, whether they are nurses, social workers, activity professionals or nursing care administrators, will have to be educated, trained and have a broader understanding of the problems that are faced by residents within a broader life-course perspective than has traditional been expected of those working within nursing care facilities.
For more information on this stunning trend, read the article by Joseph Shapiro entitled, A New Nursing Home Population: The Young. (www.npr.org/2010/12/09/131912529/a-new-nursing-home-population-the-young)