Poll: Americans Want Help to Age in Place

Posted Sunday, May 9, 2021

According to a survey conducted by from the AP-NORC Center and The Scan Foundation, over 88% of Americans want to stay in their own home or the home of a loved one. They report that 76% of Americans want to be cared for in their own home, while 11% want to live with a loved one.  The main concern seniors expressed in the survey is the fear of losing their independence.

According to the survey:

  • Support is high for government action in helping Americans pay for long-term care: 60% favor a government-administered long-term care insurance program similar to Medicare and 63% favor government funding for program to allow people with low incomes to receive care at home.
  • Americans think health insurance companies (52%), Medicare (51%), and Medicaid (41%) should have a large or very large responsibility to pay for ongoing living assistance. Just 35% think individuals and 15% think families should be responsible.
  • 51% think shoring up the Medicare trust fund should be a top priority for the Congress and the Biden administration and another 38% think it is a lower but still important priority. Just 9% think it is not an important priority or shouldn’t be done at all.
  • Common concerns about aging include losing independence as they age (67%), being alone without family or friends around them (60%), and having social needs met (57%). Many also worry about having to leave their home and move into a nursing home (53%) and about experiencing health and safety issues in a retirement community or nursing home (54%).
  • Most Americans do not feel prepared for their own care needs: 69% say they have done little or no planning and just 16% are confident they will have the financial resources they need to pay for long-term care.

“Thinking about their future needs for care, very few Americans have discussed their preferences about ongoing living assistance. Thirty-one percent have done so with their friends and family, and just 11% have with their doctor or other health care provider. Although older Americans are more likely to have these conversations than young people, still just 46% of Americans age 60 and older have expressed their aging preferences with family or friends and just 14% have done so with their health care provider.”

Source: NAHC Report

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