Deciding when it’s the right time to go to a nursing home, whether it’s yourself or for your loved one, can be a very challenging and emotional time. This is particularly true for females, such as mothers, grandmothers, and aunts. Although elderly men and women are at similar risks for injuries and illnesses as they age, women can be more susceptible to certain problems. This factor, combined with concern for wellbeing and health, can make it even more difficult to determine when to put your female relative into a nursing home.
Women and Health Risks
Statistics show that as women age, their bones become more brittle, making them particularly prone to fractures. This condition is known as osteoporosis, and it is a condition that is primarily caused by hormonal changes that affect aging females. These changes can lead to a lack of calcium and vitamin D, two vital components for strong and healthy bones. In fact, osteoporosis is the biggest cause of fractures in older adult women.
Unfortunately, brittle bones combined with other factors puts women at a higher risk for injuries due to falls. According to Colorado State University, as women age, their risk of falling increases and becomes higher than it is for men. A big part of this is because bone density decreases because of osteoporosis, which can make women more susceptible to fall-related injuries. In addition, failing to exercise leads to poor muscle tone, a decrease in strength, and loss of bone mass as well as flexibility.
Are Women at Risk?
When looking at statistics, the question arises of whether women in nursing homes or similar facilities are at a higher risk of developing illnesses or injuries than men. The Medicaid Department of the State of New York, along with similar studies, revealed some statistics that can help answer the question of whether women are at in increased risk for injuries and illnesses during their stay in a nursing home. The study concluded that on average, women tend to stay in nursing homes for longer periods of time than men. The study found that on average, the average midpoint facility stay for men was 10 months, as opposed to 15 months for women. Additionally, the average facility stay for men totaled 20 months, with a 30 month total for women.
In summary, the findings found that around 80 percent of nursing homes admissions are women. On average, the age of the women who are being admitted is 82. It was also noted that women at this age are most likely to be single. When compared to men, women generally stay in a nursing home around 50 percent longer than men do.