In this first case, people lived on average 79 months longer if they did not reside in an NH. Of this difference, 43 months are lost in NHs, regardless of any degree of dementia symptoms. In previous years, staying two or more years in an assisted living facility was not uncommon. Nowadays, the average stay lasts only about a year.
Nursing and nursing homes have traditionally been part of a society as old as the United States itself. Projections estimate that, due to demographic trends, the number of beds in nursing homes will have to increase by 50% by 2030 if the criteria for admission to NH and levels of home care remain unchanged. Sometimes, people fear that leaving the hospital will diminish the quality of care or that enrolling in hospice is giving up. Another problem that had affected many of the residents of nursing homes was the increase in health problems caused by isolation.
While these reasons may be a real concern for some, many people find that Assisted Living is actually a better option overall. In other words, people in both groups (those taking antidepressants and those taking antipsychotics) lived longer if their behaviors and emotional symptoms of dementia improved with medication. Patients in nursing homes were 30% more likely to die within six months than patients in home hospice. Until May 22 of this year, no one noticed changes in the life expectancy of a resident of a nursing home.
In a study of elderly Americans who moved to a nursing home for their last months or years of life, 65 percent died there within a year, according to research conducted by researchers at the VA Medical Center in San Francisco and the University of California at San Francisco. I cited several statistics and came to the conclusion that between 50 and 70% of people over the age of 65 will need fairly significant long-term care services at some point in their lives; meaning they will need help with at least a couple of activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, or bathing, and possibly even a higher standard of care. The implication, he says, is that “we need to involve nursing home residents in planning conversations about end-of-life care and treatment preferences very soon after they are admitted. Essential medical treatment, supervision and daily help to administer medication for retirees are also provided in these nursing homes.
Therefore, the total amount of time they received assisted living care, at home and then in a facility, could easily exceed 3 years for many people. The Resource Use and Disease Course in Dementia Nursing Home (REDIC-NH) project included 696 people admitted to NH.