PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- More Hispanic senior citizens are living in nursing homes, but their care is worse than that of whites, U.S. researchers found.
Study leader Mary Fennell, professor of sociology and community health at Brown University, found Hispanic elderly are more likely than whites to live in nursing homes of poor quality.
Traditionally, Hispanic families has used formal long-term care services less frequently than any other U.S. ethnic group. In Hispanic households, elder care has traditionally been handled by adult daughters at home, but more and more young Hispanic women work outside the home.
Some 4.5 million elderly Hispanics are expected to need care by 2010, Fennell said.
From 2000-2005, the percent of Hispanic residents increased from 5 percent to 6.4 percent, but the percentage of non-Hispanic white residents dipped from just under 83 percent to 79.4 percent.
Residents admitted to nursing homes have often already endured hospitalizations or a health issue that required expensive, high-level care, the study said.
"People with resources can get into very good places or alternatives for nursing home care," Fennell said. "Everyone else is left with not-very-good facilities that are not performing well."
The findings were published in the journal Health Affairs.