And the Survey Says...
Yesterday, I drove down to Miami for a televised
meeting discussing the findings of a brand new
survey conducted by UnitedHealthcare, USA TODAY, and
NCOA which surveyed 2,250 U.S. adults aged 60 or
older. This inaugural United States of Aging
Survey examines seniors’ outlook and preparedness
for aging, and their community’s ability to meet
their needs as they age.
In general, the survey found 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 reported trouble
with current monthly living expenses; one-third
said they will not be able to afford future
long-term care services; and 72 percent 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.
Some of the poll results regarding seniors and
caregiving are as follows:
Seniors are not only receiving long-term
care – they are providing it, too. Half of older
Americans reported having someone they consider
to be a caregiver in their lives – and close to
one-third (28 percent) of seniors said they
serve as a caregiver for someone else.
Nearly nine in 10 (87 percent) of older
Americans who have a caregiver said they are
receiving care from a family member. More than
half of those caregivers (52 percent) live at
home with their care recipient.
Among those seniors who do not currently have
a caregiver, 39 percent believe it is likely
that they will need one of their children or
grandchildren to serve as their caregiver in the
future. Forty-five percent of respondents who
serve as a caregiver for someone else reported
that they would benefit from additional services
to support them, such as respite care.
While 61 percent of these caregivers are
aware that there is a service in their community
that they could call to request assistance with
everyday needs, only 15 percent reported having
utilized such services.
I only had one question of the panel. What
are the differences in feelings of well-being
between those polled who were caregiving and those
who are not caregiving? While that particular study
of the results has not yet been conducted, I hope we
caregivers are as optimistic as the poll shows the
majority of respondents stated. Now, that
would be great news, indeed.