Functional Status, Assistance, and the Risk of a Community-Based Move
AbstractThis study examined the effects of declining functional status and the availability of assistance on community-based residential mobility. Wolinsky and colleagues (1993), using data from the 1984, 1986, and 1988 waves of the Longitudinal Study on Aging, reported other transitions that result from increased health demand, namely those of nursing home placement and death. Using their functional health scales and recently available statistical techniques, we performed a two-stage analysis within a health behavior conceptual framework. We conclude that older adults who report several cognitive limitations in the absence of assistance in the home are more likely to make residential changes. Additionally, we determined that the independent effects of cognitive and lower body deterioration trigger, in this case, community-based moves even when adjusting for the effect of baseline levels of functional health and other factors in the model. Our analysis extends the earlier findings of Wolinsky and colleagues to encompass residential change as an ecological outcome of health decline in old age.