Latino and Non-Latino Elderly in Los Angeles County: A Pilot Study of Demographic Trends for Disability and Long-Term Care
Analysis of Census data for Los Angeles for the 1990–2008 period shows two important trends in the 65+ population: a rapidly growing presence of Latino elderly and a rapidly shrinking presence of non-Hispanic white (NHW) elderly. This means that throughout the twenty-first century, the disability and long-term care profile of the elderly in Los Angeles County will increasingly be influenced by the growing Latino presence in this age group. American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2008 are used to compare and contrast the disability profile of Latino and NHW in the following categories: vision/hearing, ambulatory, cognitive, self care and independent living. Generally, Latino elderly report higher rates of disability in nearly all categories. Data from the 2008 California Hospital Discharge Summary show marked differences between Latino and NHW elderly in terms of post-hospitalization disposition to long-term care. NHW are far more likely than Latino to be discharged to Skilled Nursing/Intermediate Care, Residential Care and Home Health Services. The Hospital Discharge data also show markedly different insurance coverage patterns in expected source of payment. NHW are nearly universally covered by Medicare or private insurance, while Latino patients are far more likely to be covered by Medicaid, other government programs, or self-payment. Current literature findings explaining these differential profiles as well as policy implications will be presented.
KeywordsInsurance Coverage Transportation Income Shrinkage Expense
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