The National Council on Aging (NCOA) in conjunction with United Healthcare sponsored a survey conducted by Penn Schoen Berland that included 2,250 U.S. adults aged 60 and older who shared their perspectives on their own individual readiness for aging as well as their perceptions of their community's resources for senior residents. Top line results reveal that:
- Seniors and baby boomers expect their lives to improve as they grow older.
- A significant minority of respondents feel less secure: about one in four report trouble with current monthly living expenses; one-third say they will not be able to afford future long-term care services; and 72% of those who make less than $30,000 per year live with a chronic health condition.
- Perceptions of community services for older Americans vary; boomers are less confident than older respondents that their community will provide the services they need to maintain health and independence.
The majority of older Americans (64 percent) report that it is very or somewhat easy to pay their monthly living expenses now, but almost one in four (24 percent) are not confident that their income will be sufficient to continue to meet their monthly expenses over the next five to 10 years.
Half of older Americans report having someone they consider to be a caregiver in their lives. Close to one-third (28 percent) of seniors say they serve as a caregiver for someone else.
Aging in Place
Nine in 10 seniors intend to continue living in their current homes over the next five to 10 years. Finances also play a role in this decision. The vast majority of all age groups report high levels of confidence that they will be able to stay in their homes without having to make any significant home modifications.
Community Resources and Support
While more than half (56 percent) of all seniors surveyed report that they are satisfied with the resources and services their community offers now, almost one quarter (23 percent) have little or no confidence that these resources will be available over the next five to 10 years.
Health and Wellness
Older Americans are optimistic about their health and say they are healthier than ever. More than three in four seniors aged 60 to 69 expect their quality of life to stay the same or get better over the next five to 10 years. More than eight in 10 agree with the statement, ―I have a strong sense of purpose and passion about my life and my future. A large majority of older Americans give themselves high marks when it comes to maintaining their physical and mental health. Ninety-two percent report that they manage their stress levels well.
As a provider, what do you think? It struck me as an overly optimistic public that was somewhat in denial of just what it will take to age. It is our responsibility to help educate them around these issues and at the same time identify business opportunities from the data.
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