A Cross-Sectional, Correlational Study Comparing Individual Characteristics of Younger and Older Nursing Home Residents using Western Canadian Resident Assessment Instrument–Minimum Data Set (RAI-MDS) 2.0

Published:September 02, 2022DOI:



      To compare characteristics of nursing home (NH) residents by age categories in Western Canada.


      A cross-sectional, correlational analysis of secondary data.

      Setting and Participants

      89,231 residents living in Western Canada NHs in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia in 2016 and 2017.


      Resident characteristics (age, sex, marital status, body mass index, medical diagnoses, cognitive function, physical function, depressive symptoms) came from the Resident Assessment Instrument–Minimum Data Set 2.0 and were analyzed using chi-square, analysis of variance, and post hoc pairwise tests. Human developmental stage age categories were used to create 5 age groups: 18-34, 35-50, 51-64, 65-80, and 81 years and older.


      The demographics, medical diagnoses, cognitive function, and physical function characteristics of NH residents among 5 age groups differed considerably (all P < .001). Residents aged 18-34 years were predominately male, never married, with a higher incidence of paralysis and traumatic brain injury. Residents aged 35-50 years had a higher incidence of stroke and multiple sclerosis, and residents aged 51-64 years mainly were morbidly obese and more prone to depression. Residents aged 65-80 years were predominately married and more prone to diabetes, and residents aged 81 years and older were predominately widowed, with a higher incidence of dementia compared with others.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Findings describe the uniqueness of younger NH age groups and indicate that the youngest NH residents often have the severe disability and a modest support system (as defined by partnered status) compared to older residents in NHs. Future studies must analyze longitudinal data that track the growth of, and changes in, residents’ health and functional status.


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