Title

Social Supports as Enabling Factors in Nursing Home Admissions: Rural, Suburban, and Urban Differences

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Gerontology

DOI

10.1177/0733464814566677

ISSN

1552-4523

Abstract

This study investigates differences in social support and nursing home admission by rurality of residence. We use discrete-time event history models with longitudinal data from seven waves (1998-2010) of the Health and Retirement Study to prospectively examine the risk of spending 30 or more days in a nursing home (n = 5,913). Results show that elders with a health problem who live in rural areas of the South or Midwest have approximately 2 times higher odds of nursing home entry than elders living in urban areas in the Northeast. Rural elders report somewhat higher social support than non-rural elders, and controlling for these forms of social support does not explain the higher risk of a nursing home stay for Southerners and Midwesterners living in rural areas. Results suggest that social support has a similar association with nursing home entry for rural, suburban, and urban elders.

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