Poll: What do older Americans really know about long-term care?
A recent telephone poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs (AP-NORC) asked Americans over 40 about their attitudes about and perceptions of long-term care.
The survey revealed that although there was concern about the affordability of long-term care, very few people included it in their financial goals because they don’t consider themselves old or believe they will ever need it. In a release, AP-NORC Director Tom Trevor said: “The rapidly aging population brings with it important social and public policy questions about preparing for and providing quality long-term care.”
Among the findings:
- Most respondents underestimated LTC costs and overestimated Medicare coverage.
- Nearly one-third of respondents prefer to not think about aging and future LTC needs. However, they want to maintain independence (e.g., by living closer to family, healthcare services and shopping venues).
- Although most respondents have not financially prepared for long-term care, they are concerned about losing cognitive abilities, loneliness and paying debt.
- The majority (more than 75 percent) favor tax incentives to encourage saving for long-term care. Fifty-one percent support a government-run plan.
In a Washington Post article, 60-year-old Malinda Bowman of Laura, Ohio, says, “I didn’t think I was old. I still don’t think I’m old. I need to plan eventually.”
View the AP-NORC poll questions and results.
Sandra Hoban was on I Advance Senior Care / Long-Term Living’s editorial staff for 17 years. She is one of the country’s longest-serving senior care journalists. Before joining Long-Term Living, she was a member of the promotions department at Advanstar Communications. In addition to her editorial experience, Sandi has served past roles in print and broadcast advertising as a traffic and talent coordinator.