Posts Tagged "senior center"
March 16, 2023
Racial Disparities Exist in Long-term Care
The types of long-term care located in various communities are largely driven by what their oldest residents can afford. This has created stark differences in what’s available to White and minority retirees, a new study finds.
Assisted living facilities, despite the high cost, have been the fastest-growing part of the long-term care industry over the past 20 years. In the cities and suburbs, where the vast majority of Americans live, more of these facilities are located in predominantly White communities. Adult day care centers, at less than half the price of assisted living, have also expanded but are concentrated in communities of color.
The research also revealed that bank redlining has contributed to the racial disparities. Historic discrimination in mortgage lending has made it difficult for Black and Hispanic workers to accumulate the home equity they can use later to finance more comprehensive forms of long-term care. Government programs also play a role in what’s available: some states get waivers to use federal funds from the Supplemental Security Income program to subsidize adult day care for low-income retirees.
The essence of this study is the contrast in long-term care facilities in White versus minority communities at a time the industry is increasingly privatized – and expensive. The options that are available in each community reflect to a large extent their residents’ socioeconomic status.
The best example is assisted living facilities in which older people rent an apartment and receive assistance with their activities of daily living – dining service and help with a wheelchair or personal care like housekeeping, showering, and dressing – that don’t require a nurse’s care.
The number of assisted living facilities without nursing has more than doubled since 2000, to 26,800 nationwide, the researchers found. Older people who can afford to live in these residences, which are concentrated in White communities in more populated areas, enjoy a comfortable living standard that includes a smorgasbord of scheduled activities, without having to rely on their adult children to take care of them.
The racial disparity in long-term care is starkest when comparing these permanent residences with a much more affordable option concentrated in city neighborhoods of color: adult day care centers. The centers are often a better choice economically for minority retirees, who tend to have lower incomes and more debt than Whites. Day care costs around $20,300 per year, compared with about $54,000 for assisted living. …Learn More