Users of home-​based nursing care live longer than nursing home residents, study shows

Users of home-​based nursing care live longer than nursing home residents, study shows

Elderly people who receive nursing care at home live on average one year longer than those residing in nursing homes. This emerged from a study carried out by the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Trouw reported.

The research group consisted of 2,100 elderly people in total. 650 of them were users of home care services. The remaining 1550 participants received care in nursing homes. Participants were from the care organizations Fundis in the Gouda region or MeanderGroep in the Heerlen region. The two organizations provided both types of services. In-home nursing services generally provide broader care. Nurses often visit the elderly several times a day and take upon more tasks.

The researchers followed the participants for four years. Those who opted for home-based care lived an average of three years after they started receiving care. For those who chose nursing homes, that was two years.

“Further research is needed. But moving to an institution often causes enormous disruption,” said Jack Jansen from the care organization MeanderGroep. “The elderly are being pulled out of their social context. In dementia, we often see rapid deteriorations.”

According to the latest figures from Statistics Netherlands, more than 18,000 elderly people in the Netherlands received nursing home care at home in 2019. At the same time, a total of 115,000 elderly people in the Netherlands were residents of nursing homes.

Pieter Bakx, health economist at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, said that such an outcome was possibly because people with ‘relatively good health’ were more likely to opt for in-home care. “Such background features may explain some of the reported mortality differences,” he concluded.

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