Elderly in nursing homes worse off than those at home, study finds

84.4 percent of CFOs at municipalities fear more and more resources will be needed in order to tackle the challenges

A new study by LO, the interest group and member authority for the country’s municipalities, has found that patients in nursing homes report falling ill more often than their counterparts living at home.

In 2008, 37.2 percent of nursing home residents were hospitalised at least once a year. That number has now risen to 42.2 percent. In contrast, the same statistic has remained consistent at 28.7 percent for elderly people living in their own houses.

Complex health problems
Experts attribute the difference to the fact that people who choose to live in assisted living facilities typically have more complex health problems to begin with.

“Today, no-one chooses to come to a nursing home unless they are unable to care for themselves at home, so there are more weak and sick citizens in nursing homes than before,” explained Ole Mørk Nielsen, the chair of the nursing home management organisation Lederforum.

More resources 
The study has been released ahead of imminent annual talks between the government and LO over budget allocations to municipalities.

Jyllands Posten reports that 84.4 percent of CFOs at municipalities believe more  resources will have to be allocated to the elderly in nursing homes – however, some are advising them to remain realistic.

“As the national political picture emerges more clearly, municipalities must not expect more money to solve challenges,” noted Kurt Houlberg, a researcher at the public sector research organisation Kora.