Nursing Home Residents' and Family Caregivers' Strategies in Financing the Costs of Long-Term Care

TitleNursing Home Residents' and Family Caregivers' Strategies in Financing the Costs of Long-Term Care
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsMikolas-Peters, CJean
Date Published2001
UniversityUniversity of Chicago
KeywordsHealthcare, Net Worth and Assets
Abstract

This dissertation studies the ways nursing home residents and caregivers manage the costs of chronic illness and the long-term care services provided during these episodes of illness. Of particular interest was how life-course events and family background affect the ability of the disabled elderly to privately finance costs in the context of Medicaid spend-down requirements. Few studies have actually looked specifically at the influence of age and health on strategies elderly residents and their families use to finance long-term care. This study was a direct result of the lack of longitudinal surveys that include adequate measures of both the health and financial status of this population. This dissertation combines both qualitative and quantitative data sources to address these issues. The experiences of the disabled elderly were examined in an exploratory study over a three-year period. The second data source was from the first wave of the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (AHEAD) study. Combining these two data sources were necessary in order to deeply examine the nature and consequences of changes in financing long-term care among this age group. The study's major finding was the identification of distinct strategies for financing long-term care and the importance of a continuum in explaining differences in the consumption of resources and strategies to finance care. The quality of care for the chronically ill was not addressed in this continuum. Residents' abilities to privately finance care were limited or undermined altogether when health problems and age compromised their independence to fund their care. Recognition that their experiences vary along a continuum was important since it corresponds to a decline in their wealth and maintaining control to avoid the consumption of savings and assets. Caregivers contributed support and provided services to avoid the dissaving required to finance the consumption of highly specialized services. These findings suggest that the role of the caregiver may need to be improved. Caregiver burdens are not distributed uniformly over the non-patient population among families whose parents' may or may not need care, and who contract illnesses of varying length or physical suffering.

Endnote Keywords

Nursing Homes

Endnote ID

16300

Short TitleNursing Home Residents' and Family Caregivers' Strategies in Financing the Costs of Long-Term Care
Citation Key6006