Long-term care industry facing changes as pandemic pushes more families toward home care

  • Consumers are shifting away from nursing homes, according to a new study

After more than a year battling the deadly coronavirus pandemic, long-term care facilities may be seeing a change in the industry as consumers shift away from nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to a new study published by an industry research group.

Widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has reduced the spread of the virus in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, with infection rates dropping sharply. But the legacy of the virus — which to date has killed more than 182,000 long-term care residents and staff nationwide — may be fundamental changes to the business of long-term care.

Research by The Associated Press National Opinion Research Center shows that, more than a year into the pandemic, 88% of Americans say they would rather care for elderly relatives in their own home instead of moving them into a facility.