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The Size of the Long-Term Care Population in Residential Care: A Review of Estimates and Methodology

Publication Date
Feb 27, 2005

This report examines the differences in estimates of the older population in residential care by analyzing key national surveys. In it the authors present results of a review of existing estimates of the number of residential care settings, generally divided into nursing homes and alternative residential care settings, and the number of persons residing in them. The review has three purposes. First, the authors describe the data that have been used to generate estimates and summarize the range of estimates. Second, they identify methodological issues that contribute to differences among estimates, focusing on those that can be investigated using available national surveys. Finally, the authors identify surveys that appear to offer the best opportunity to conduct such an investigation and to provide a better understanding of the size and characteristics of the residential care population and insights into how collection of data on residential care settings can be improved. [57 PDF pages]