Background and Objectives: The objective of the study was to understand how sensory impairments, alone or in combination with cognitive impairment (CI), relate to long-term care (LTC) admissions. Research Design and Methods: This retrospective cohort study used existing information from two interRAI assessments; the Resident Assessment Instrument for Home Care (RAI-HC) and the Minimum Data Set 2.0 (MDS 2.0), which were linked at the individual level for 371,696 unique individuals aged 65+ years. The exposure variables of interest included hearing impairment (HI), vision impairment (VI) and dual sensory impairment (DSI) ascertained at participants’ most recent RAI-HC assessment. The main outcome was admission to LTC. Survival analysis, using Cox proportional hazards regression models and Kaplan–Meier curves, was used to identify risk factors associated with LTC admissions. Observations were censored if they remained in home care, died or were discharged somewhere other than to LTC. Results: In this sample, 12.7% of clients were admitted to LTC, with a mean time to admission of 49.6 months (SE = 0.20). The main risk factor for LTC admission was a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia (HR = 1.87; CI: 1.83, 1.90). A significant interaction between HI and CI was found, whereby individuals with HI but no CI had a slightly faster time to admission (40.5 months; HR = 1.14) versus clients with both HI and CI (44.9 months; HR = 2.11). Discussion and Implications: Although CI increases the risk of LTC admission, HI is also important, making it is imperative to continue to screen for sensory issues among older home care clients.
Nicole Williams, MSc, Natalie A Phillips, PhD, Walter Wittich, PhD, Jennifer L Campos, PhD, Paul Mick, MD, FRCSC, MPH, Joseph B Orange, PhD, M Kathleen Pichora-Fuller, PhD, Marie Y Savundranayagam, PhD, Dawn M Guthrie, PhD, Hearing and Cognitive Impairments Increase the Risk of Long-term Care Admissions, Innovation in Aging, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2020, igz053, https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igz053