Poll: Californians financially unprepared for long-term care

California’s struggling economy has set voters up to be unprepared for future financial burdens, specifically the cost of long-term care, according to a new poll from The SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Conducted by Lake Research Partners and American Viewpoint, the poll, which is in its second year, surveyed 1,490 registered California voters age 40 and older in English and Spanish, and sought to better understand the health and long-term care issues facing them. The state’s number of citizens older than 60 is projected to nearly double to 12 million people in the next 25 years.

Californians, regardless of political party or income level, were worried about the costs of growing older, according to poll results. Two-thirds (66 percent) could not afford more than three months of nursing home care at an average cost of $6,000 per month in California. Forty-two percent could not afford a single month of care. Among Latino voters, 88 percent could not afford more than three months of nursing home care.

Other findings showed that respondents have continuing aging-related concerns over the loss of independence (73 percent), losing memory or other mental abilities (70 percent) and worsening health (70 percent). In addition, 63 percent of respondents caring for an aging loved one said it is emotionally stressful, and nearly half said they are not regularly getting the social and emotional support they need.

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