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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2000 Jul;55(4):S245-53.

Changes in home care use by disabled elderly persons: 1982-1994.

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  • 1Urban Institute, Washington, DC, USA.



The use of, and changes in the use of. formal (paid) and informal care by elderly persons who are chronically disabled and living in the community was studied.


Estimates were made of the sources and volume of home care use for persons reporting chronic disability in the 1982, 1989, and 1994 National Long Term Care Surveys. Comparisons were made across disability intensity, survey data, and age.


The analyses showed changes over time in the sources of home care services. Generally, the combined use of both paid and informal home health care increased, whereas the use of either source of care alone decreased. The amount spent on formal care increased with disability level and age.


Use of formal sources of care by community disabled elderly residents increased, likely because of changes in the Medicare home health care benefits in 1989. Increased use of home health care was associated with the concurrent use of informal care.

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