Barriers to Timely Medical Care for Older Adults by Disability Status and Household Composition

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Living arrangements are often influenced by disability status, and co-resident caregivers may facilitate access to health care, especially for community-dwelling older adults with disabilities. Despite this, we know very little about how disability status and household composition work together to affect health services use. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (2009–2011; n = 16,720), this study investigates (a) how access to medical care varies by disability status and household composition and (b) whether the relationship between household composition and health care access differs by disability status. We find that the risk of delayed care due to cost or lack of transportation is highest for older adults living alone or with non-spousal others. Older adults living alone without disabilities have lower odds of delayed care due to difficulty making a timely appointment than older adults living with a spouse. Furthermore, we find that older adults living alone with disabilities have elevated odds of delayed care for any reason. These findings can help target interventions to improve health care access through programs such as home- and community-based care and non-emergency medical transportation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • access to care
  • disability
  • living arrangements

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