Surveys indicate that the average length of stay for patients in nursing homes is almost 2.5 years. Obviously, there are huge variations depending on the health condition of the individual patient. For those patients who can be discharged the average length of stay is around nine months.
Many of us (50-70 per cent of people over 65) will die in a nursing home. Well over half of all patients admitted to nursing homes die within a year. Half of that number die within six months of admission. The average stay for patients that die in a nursing home is around two years. A few patients spend many years in a nursing home.
You tend to be at greater risk of needing long-term nursing care if you are single or very old. Family history, and poor diet and exercise habits are further risk factors.
Women tend to stay in nursing homes slightly longer than men. And people over 85 tend to have a longer average stay of over 2.5 years. There are also differences between different ethnic groups.