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J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Jul;15(7):521-526. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2014.03.013. Epub 2014 May 1.

Residential relocations among older people over the course of more than 10 years.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Geriatric Medicine, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
School of Nursing, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT.



The objective of this study was to describe the rates of residential relocations over the course of 10.5 years and evaluate differences in these relocation rates according to gender and decedent status.


Prospective, longitudinal study with monthly telephone follow-up for up to 126 months.


Greater New Haven, CT.


There were 754 participants, aged 70 years or older, who were initially community-living and nondisabled in their basic activities of daily living.


Residential location was assessed during monthly interviews and included community, assisted living facility, and nursing home. A residential relocation was defined as a change of residential location for at least 1 week and included relocations within (eg, community-community) or between (community- assisted living) locations. We calculated the rates of relocations per 1000 patient-months and evaluated differences by gender and decedent status.


Sixty-six percent of participants had at least one residential relocation (range 0-12). Women had lower rates of relocations from nursing home to community (rate ratio [RR] 0.59, P = .02); otherwise, there were no gender differences. Decedents had higher rates of relocation from community to assisted living (RR 1.71, P = .002), from community to nursing home (RR 3.64, P < .001), between assisted living facilities (RR 3.65, P < .001), and from assisted living to nursing home (RR 2.5, P < .001). In decedents, relocations from community to nursing home (RR 3.58, P < .001) and from assisted living to nursing home (RR 3.3, P < .001) were most often observed in the last year of life.


Most older people relocated at least once during 10.5 years of follow-up. Women had lower rates of relocation from nursing home to community. Decedents were more likely to relocate to a residential location providing a higher level of assistance, compared with nondecedents. Residential relocations were most common in the last year of life.


Residential location; assisted living facility; gender; housing; longitudinal study; nursing home; relocations

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