Variation in Residential Care Community Resident Characteristics, by Size of Community: United States, 2020:  A Summary

Data from the 2020 National Post-acute and Long-term Care Study

  • In 2020, a greater percentage of residents in residential care communities with 26 beds or more were aged 85 and over compared with smaller communities.
  • About 18% of all residential care community residents were Medicaid beneficiaries, and the percentage of Medicaid recipients decreased with increasing bed size.
  • The prevalence of selected medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s and heart disease, varied by community size.
  • The percentage of residents needing assistance in bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, walking, and eating was highest in communities with 4–25 beds.

The data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics presents findings from a 2020 study of residential care communities, focusing on the characteristics of residents and differences by the size of the community.

According to the report,

“…on any given day in 2020, an estimated 818,800 residents lived in residential care communities.”

National Center for Health Statistics, 2020

As the population ages, this number is likely to increase. There were noted differences in the characteristics of residents in different-sized communities.

Age and Demographics: Half of all residents in these communities were aged 85 or over, but residents in larger communities tended to be older. Smaller communities (4-25 beds) had more residents under age 65. Most residents (69%) were female, and almost 9 in 10 (88%) were non-Hispanic White. These proportions varied slightly by community size.

Medicaid and Health Conditions: Approximately 18% of all residents were Medicaid beneficiaries, with the percentage decreasing with increasing bed size. Four in ten residents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, three in ten with heart disease, and nearly two in ten with diabetes. The prevalence of these conditions varied by community size.

Assistance Needed: The most frequent functional limitation among residents was needing assistance with bathing, with 64% of residents requiring help. The need for assistance with various activities of daily living (ADLs) was highest in smaller communities (4-25 beds).

The report suggests that as the number of residents in residential care communities increases, understanding these variations in demographics, health status, and service needs by community size will be vital for policymakers, providers, researchers, and advocates in planning to meet this aging population’s needs.

Bedsore.Law represents families and residents nationwide for claims against residential care communities. Contact us for a free consultation if you or a loved one was injured in a care facility.

The full report can be found here.


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