Monday, June 17, 2024

Analysis Reveals Disproportionate Underrepresentation of Black Americans in Residential Care Communities, According to AP/CNHI News

Barriers to Assisted Living for Older Black Americans

Title: Disparities in Long-Term Care Facing Black Americans

Norma Upshaw, 82, found herself in a challenging situation when her doctor recommended in-home dialysis, and her closest family lived 40 miles away. With limited options for assisted living facilities or affordable housing nearby, her daughter took matters into her own hands and built a small apartment onto her home for Upshaw.

This situation highlights a larger issue facing older Black Americans in the United States when it comes to long-term care options. A recent analysis by CNHI News and The Associated Press found that Black Americans are underrepresented in residential care communities and overrepresented in nursing homes compared to white Americans.

The disparities in access to long-term care are influenced by a variety of factors, including personal and cultural preferences, insurance coverage, and the physical location of residential care communities. Financial barriers, particularly for low-income individuals, further exacerbate the challenges faced by older Black Americans seeking quality long-term care.

As the population ages and the need for long-term health care increases, the question of equitable access to assisted living facilities and other community living arrangements becomes more pressing. Researchers and experts in the field emphasize the importance of understanding the cultural and financial barriers that prevent older Black Americans from accessing the care they need.

While some families choose to care for their loved ones at home, others see assisted living as a viable option for maintaining independence while receiving necessary support. The disparities in access to long-term care underscore the need for more research, funding, and support to ensure that all older Americans can age with dignity and quality care.

As the landscape of long-term care continues to evolve, addressing the disparities facing older Black Americans must be a priority to ensure equitable access to quality care for all members of society.

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