Long-Term Care, Wealth, and Health of the Disabled Elderly Living in the Community
Providing and financing long-term care of the elderly are among the most challenging policy issues facing the aging American population. This study examines characteristics and selected measures of utilization in the population most likely to use long-term care. It investigates characteristics of a cohort of noninstitutionalized elderly Medicare recipients who were impaired in the performance of at least one basic activity. It describes their wealth, living arrangements, and health characteristics. Tobit regressions are presented that relate utilization of hospital services, paid home-health care, and unreimbursed home care to these factors. I find that the number of activity limitations increases with age, but that in this population, household income and value of home equity do not decrease with either the level of disability or with age. The determinants of home-health care utilization in this population are distinct from the factors that have been significant predictors of medical care utilization in other studies.