Home, but Not Homebound: A Prospective Analysis of Persons Living With Dementia

Jennifer M. Reckrey, Bruce Leff, Raj G. Kumar, Cynthia Yee, Melissa M. Garrido, Katherine A. Ornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Homebound persons living with dementia may have increased difficulty accessing needed care in the community. This study identifies factors associated with becoming homebound among a national sample of Medicare beneficiaries with newly identified dementia. Design: Prospective cohort analysis. Setting and Participants: We used the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) 2011-2018 to identify community-dwelling older adults at the time of a new dementia diagnosis (n = 939). Dementia status was determined based on cognitive testing and self and proxy reporting. Methods: We compared characteristics of homebound (ie, those who never or rarely left home) and non-homebound participants at the time of dementia identification. Among non-homebound participants, we used a Fine-Gray subdistribution hazard model to identify factors associated with becoming homebound over follow-up (median follow-up 4 years), accounting for competing risks of death and moving to a nursing home. Results: 20% of individuals with newly identified dementia were homebound and this group was more functionally impaired, medically complex, and socioeconomically disadvantaged as compared to the non-homebound. Over time, depression [subhazard ratio (SHR) 2.19, 95% CI 1.36, 3.54], living in an assisted living facility (SHR 2.60, 95% CI 1.35, 4.97), and Hispanic ethnicity (SHR 1.91, 95% CI 1.05, 3.47) were associated with becoming homebound. Conclusions and Implications: Most adults are not homebound at the time of dementia diagnosis. Identifying and addressing modifiable factors like depression may slow progression to homebound status and enable persons living with dementia to access needed care in the community. In order to accommodate diverse individual and family preferences for long-term care, robust systems of home-based clinical and long-term care are necessary for those who do become homebound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1648-1652.e1
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Homebound
  • dementia
  • home- and community-based long-term care


Dive into the research topics of 'Home, but Not Homebound: A Prospective Analysis of Persons Living With Dementia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this