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Res Nurs Health. 2005 Jun;28(3):210-9.

Prevalence and characteristics of nursing homes residents requiring light-care.

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  • 1University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Nursing, 4301 West Markham, AR 72205, USA.


Rising nursing home (NH) costs and the poor quality of NH care make it important to recognize elders for whom NH care may be inappropriate. As a first step in developing a method to identify these elders, we examined the characteristics of NH residents requiring light-care and changes in their care level from NH admission to 12-months. Using data from the Missouri Minimal Data Set electronic database, we developed three care-level categories based on Resource Use Groups, Version III (RUG-III) and defined light-care NH residents as those requiring minimal assistance with late-loss ADLs (bed mobility, transfer, toilet use, or eating) and having no complex clinical problems. Approximately 16% of Missouri NH residents met the criteria for light-care. They had few functional problems with mobility, personal care, communication, or incontinence; approximately 33% had difficulty maintaining balance without assistance; and 50% of those admitted as light-care were still light-care at 12-months. Findings suggest that many NH residents classified as light-care by these criteria could be cared for in community settings offering fewer services than NHs.

(c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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