Narrator: This is Science Today. It's estimated that for every person in a nursing home, another two people with the same needs, are living in the community. Aging expert, Dr. Kathryn Borgenicht of the University of California, San Francisco says this depends on a person's functional ability.
Borgenicht: I think it says the factors that keep you living at home are very different than just your medical condition is, or you functional status is. That a lot of if depends on what your social support system is, what your financial support is, that it may have very little to do with an actual medical system. It may have more to do with some of the other support systems in the community.
Narrator: Borgenicht says it's important people who may need long term health care discuss with their family and doctors what their needs and goals are.
Borgenicht: We are constantly working with people about the issue of how much help does somebody need versus how much help the care givers think they need. And sometimes that can be dissparent. What is the goal for this individual person..is it to stay at home? Then what are the pieces that may help that person stay at home. You've gotta work on it this way.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.