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It is crucial to determine the health status of returnees to former evacuation areas. We aimed to examine the long-term care (LTC) utilization rate among elderly returnees as the indicator of care needs.
This study used a resident registration database to collect information on LTC utilization rate among elderly returnees to former evacuation areas in Fukushima, Japan, following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. LTC utilization rates were descriptively analyzed.
For all age groups, the LTC utilization rates were lower among returnees than evacuees. The LTC utilization rate among returnees in each age group (chi-square test results compared to evacuees) were as follows: 0.78% (P = 0.194) for those aged 65–69, 0.69% (P = 0.003) for those aged 70–74, 3.23% (P = 0.007) for those aged 75–79, 6.79% (P < 0.001) for those aged 80–84, 22.84% (P = 0.011) for those aged 85–89, and 44.09% (P = 0.089) for those aged 90 and over.
Elderly returnees had fewer LTC needs than elderly evacuees. Nevertheless, the proportion of aging people is high in evacuation area, meaning the number of elderly returnees would increase at an enormous rate. Therefore, LTC utilization rate would increase in the future.
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