Potential Need for and Cost of Congregate Housing for Older People

HRD-80-8: Published: Oct 15, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 1979.

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A study was made of the well-being of older people, their need for services, and the cost of providing those services for older people living in public housing, congregate housing, and institutions.

Information obtained showed that older people living in public housing had worse personal conditions than those living in private housing and had a significantly greater need for social-recreational, medical, and personal or nursing care services than people living in private housing. Congregate housing, for the purposes of the report, was defined as housing where eight main services are provided, namely: meals, social-recreational, education, transportation, medical care, homemaker, counseling, and security. Institutions, as used in the report, differ in that they provide such services as full-time nursing care and continuous supervision. A comparison of the cost of the three living arrangements discussed showed the average daily cost of maintaining an institutionalized older person, based on fiscal year 1977 cost levels, to be $15.27 compared to $13.95 in private housing or $11.32 for congregate housing. It was found that about 18 percent of the older noninstitutionalized people and 11 percent of the older institutionalized people could live in congregate housing.

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