Family networks: Predictors of nursing home entry

Despite the importance of kin in caring for older relatives, few studies have examined the relationship between the family network and the risk of nursing home placement. Data from a cohort of noninstitutionalized elderly persons living in New Haven in 1982 were used to predict nursing home admission through 1985. Logistic regression analyses show that older persons who have regular contact with kin have a lower risk of institutionalization. For men, the spouse is most important in reducing the risk of entry; for women, having regular contact with at least one family member–of any relation–reduces the risk of entry.