Brown University Study Sounds the Alarm on Nursing Home Care in Black and High-Poverty Neighborhoods

A study by researchers at Brown University found that over the past decade the number of nursing homes in the United States has declined by 5 percent. The study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, found that nursing homes in neighborhoods with large numbers of people in poverty were more than twice as likely to have closed their doors than nursing homes in areas where there is a high average income. Nursing homes in predominantly black neighborhoods were 1.38 times more likely to close than nursing homes in areas that were almost exclusively white.

The results point toward a shortage of nursing home care for elderly black and poor patients in the neighborhoods where they and their families have lived. Also, the fact that nursing homes in poor and black neighborhoods have been forced to close because of financial difficulties leads to the conclusion that those that are still operating may also be in poor financial condition and this may affect the quality of patient care.