Outside the Box: Why nursing homes are suffering from old age problems

Remember nursing homes? Someday, perhaps as soon as the next decade, that’s how Americans may start to think about them — in the past tense, as institutional relics.

The grim economic reality is that many nursing homes are facing extinction. In fact, I predict that the confluence of a number of trends — demographics, competition from nursing home alternatives, federal and state health-care policy and even technology — will mean as many as 20% of nursing home beds will be eliminated in the next five years.

Anyone with an aging parent, or really anyone who expects to grow old someday, would be smart to pay close attention to these trends.

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