This study sets out to investigate the preferences of the elderly in northern Taiwan with regard to various types of long-term care services. Taking into consideration sociodemographics, health condition, and access to such medical care services, our study examined both economic and family factors in an attempt to gain an understanding of the knowledge of and attitudes toward, the various types of long-term care among the elderly. An interview survey was carried out by local public health nurses among a sample of 562 elderly Taiwanese residents (people aged 65 years or older) from 7 counties/cities in northern Taiwan, all of whom had been selected by means of multistage sampling. The survey was conducted using a questionnaire based on the Andersen and Newman model of health care utilization, with the intention being to gain a better understanding of the related factors. The results indicate that both ethnic background and the requirement for additional medical care services had significant effects on the long-term care preferences of the elderly in Taiwan, a finding that should help to provide a better understanding of the preferences for and availability of such long-term care services among the elderly. Such improved understanding could result in improving the quality of life for the elderly, particularly if they feel that their preferences have been taken into consideration and their needs have ultimately been met.
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