Hospital Use by the Extremely Elderly (Nonagenarians): A Two-year Study
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Eighty-seven community-dwelling nonagenarians provided with extensive medical and social services as needed were followed for two years. Fifty-one subjects were admitted to an acute care hospital at least once. Total durations of hospitalization for those who required it averaged 44 days per individual over the two years. This represents about 13 hospital days per year per nonagenarian . Since it is likely that few, if any, hospitalizations would have been preventable by additional services, these data suggest that at a minimum one hospital bed would be continuously occupied for every 28 persons of this age and of this degree of infirmity . In these times of fiscal restraint it is especially important that the government and third-party payers determine the level of funding for expensive services such as acute hospitalization by assessing the needs of those who use them.
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