The New York Times (NYT) had an interesting article in their The New Old Age segment that described the issues men have in finding appropriate long-term care facilities. The article highlighted an intuitive, yet often overlooked issue concerning the number of rooms a facility has versus the number of beds. Many facilities have two beds in most rooms; these semi-private rooms have restrictions that require the residents to be the same sex. As most residents in long-term care are female, finding another female to share a semi-private room is generally not difficult. However, placing a male in semi-private room requires another male resident to fill the room.
This demonstrates some of the issues long-term care providers must resolve. While the facility is obviously limited in having males and females share semi-private rooms, having an odd number of male residents could result in empty beds, yet the inability to fill them. With costs increasing, and governmental reimbursement cuts, facilities have to operate at a high census to remain solvent. Quality of care and non-discriminatory admissions policies clearly should take precedence over profitabilty, but this does highlight both a current and future issue as more people require long-term care.
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