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Clinical comorbidities and transitions between care settings among residents of assisted living facilities: a repeated cross-sectional study


Objective — We investigate the changes in the sociodemographic characteristics, clinical comorbidities, and transitions between care settings among residents of assisted living facilities.

Design — Repeated cross-sectional study.

Setting and Participants — Linked, individual-level health system administrative data on residents of assisted living facilities in Ontario, Canada, from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2019.

Methods — Counts and proportions were calculated to describe the sociodemographic characteristics and clinical comorbidities. Relative changes and trend tests were calculated to quantify the longitudinal changes in the characteristics of residents of assisted living facilities between 2013 and 2019. A Sankey plot was graphed to display transitions between different care settings (ie, hospital admission, nursing home admission, died, or remained in the assisted living facility) each year from 2013 to 2019.

Results — There was a 34% relative increase in the resident population size of assisted living facilities (56,9752019 vs 42,6002013). These older adults had a mean age of 87 years, and women accounted for nearly two-thirds of the population across all years. The 5 clinical comorbidities that had the highest relative increases were renal disease (24.3%), other mental health conditions (16.8%), cardiac arrhythmias (9.6%), diabetes (8.5%), and cancer (6.9%). Nearly 20% of the original cohort from 2013 remained in an assisted living facility at the end of 2019, and approximately 10% of that cohort transitioned to a nursing home in any year from 2013 to 2019.

Conclusions and Implications — Residents of assisted living facilities are an important older adult population that has progressively increased in clinical complexity within less than a decade. Clinicians and policy makers should advocate for the implementation of on-site medical care that is aligned with the needs of these older adults.



Manis DR, Katz P, Lane NA, Rochon PA, Sinha SK, Andel R, Heckman G, Kirkwood D, Costa AP. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2023; Jul 26 [Epub ahead of print].

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