The disappearance of nursing homes: 5 stats

At least 600 nursing homes have closed in the last six years, according to an analysis of federal data by The Wall Street Journal.

More care for older adults is happening at home; however, as beds continue to decline, many older adults remain stuck in hospitals. In Massachusetts, a state hospital association survey showed an average of 563 patients per month remained in hospitals while waiting for a nursing home bed to open. Hundreds of patients spend at least a month in hospitals waiting, while some wait for six months or longer, according to the Journal.

Here are three other findings from the analysis, published Aug. 22:

  • Wisconsin, Ohio, Kansas and Massachusetts lost the most nursing home beds between January 2017 and July 2023.

  • The decrease in beds spiked in 2021 but has slowed the last two years. However, beds are still being lost at a rate of about 8,000 to 12,000 per year.

  • About 22 percent of people older than 65 live in counties without a nursing home.

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