The Health Consequences of Relocation for Nursing Home Residents Following Hurricane Katrina

Published In: Research on Aging, v. 33, no. 6, Nov. 2011, p. 661-687

Posted on RAND.org on November 01, 2011

by Nicholas G. Castle, John Engberg

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In this research, the authors examine whether the relocation of nursing home residents following Hurricane Katrina is associated with subsequent lower physical or mental health. All nursing homes in Louisiana that were closed following Hurricane Katrina (N = 12) were used, with 439 residents who could be followed to a new location. The authors compare the subsequent health outcomes of these residents to that of a matched sample of other nursing home residents in Southern states, with the match based on prior health status as well as other resident and facility characteristics. Relocated residents were more likely to die than non-relocated residents. In addition, relocated residents were more likely to have pressure ulcers; they were, however, less likely to be physically restrained. Relocated residents were also less likely to have behavioral health issues. These results would appear to have both practical and policy relevance.

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