How long do most people stay in a nursing home?

In short, it's not uncommon for a person to receive home care for several months or more, followed by a two-and-a-half year stay in an assisted living facility, and nearly 60% require a nursing home stay of between nine months and just over two years. In the past, the national average was around two years. Today, the national average is approaching one year. The length of time people stay in a nursing home will obviously vary from person to person.

Many people over the age of 65 are likely to spend several months or even years receiving full-time care in a nursing home. Age, gender, net worth and marital status have been identified as factors that determine the length of stay. But it's important to note that it's actually impossible to predict on a case-by-case basis. Kelly told me that “although this study does not address why certain demographic and social factors lead to a shorter stay, it does appear that people with greater social support at home have a shorter stay when they are admitted to a nursing home.

Kelly also explains that the findings of this study reinforce the idea that advance care planning should be done upon admission to a nursing home. Nursing homes like Haym Salomon Home have financial services specialists who can guide you on what your insurance covers. Most of these patients (70%) actually died in the nursing home without being transferred to another setting, such as a hospital. The Haym Salomon & Rehabilitation Nursing Home in Brooklyn serves short- and long-term residents.

Most nursing homes understand the stress patients and their families experience during the admissions process. For example, while women tend to stay longer in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, they are more likely to be discharged to a home solution than men, who are more likely to move to another facility or to spousal care, if available. The study authors used data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to describe the length of stay of older adults who resided in nursing homes at the end of their lives. The richest quarter of net-worth nursing home residents died six months earlier than those in the lowest cuartile.

Surprisingly, perhaps, people who are married tend to spend less time in nursing homes than single people, they die sooner. It's vital to plan when you might need additional care at home, in a daycare center, or in a nursing home.