In a recent survey commissioned by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) and conducted by Morning Consult, more than 2,000 voters weighed in with their perceptions on long-term care and end-of-life needs.
Results showed general optimism, with 4 in 10 voters believing they’ll need some sort of long-term care or daily assistance at some point during their retirement. In reality, the federal government estimates this need as closer to 7 in 10. Of voters 55-64 years old, those on the brink of possible need, only one-third have a power of attorney or living will in place.
3 in 10, or one-third of those polled, said they would rely on Medicare to cover most of their health care costs during retirement. This was the highest choice, adding fuel to the argument that many Americans mistakenly 1. don’t rightly anticipate their need for long-term care, and 2. don’t recognize that Medicare fails to cover long-term services and supports. Only 3 percent of voters said they would rely on long-term care insurance policies.
In their statement about the poll, NCAL says assisted living communities offer a viable option. Those who can’t or don’t want to stay in their homes can choose assisted living for a current average of $2,000 less per year than the cost of a home health aide. Assisted living “delivers person-centered care with a unique combination of companionship, independence, privacy, and security,” which many older adults may find meets both their financial and their physical needs.
28% of voters said they’d prefer to move to an assisted living community when they could no longer live on their own. NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle encourages early conversations with older family members. A wide range of long-term needs do not require 24-hour skilled nursing care, and raising questions sooner rather than later can prevent uncertainty and address unspoken fears, resulting in the best possible quality of life for aging Americans and their families.
NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle encourages early conversations with older family members. Raising questions sooner rather than later can prevent uncertainty and address unspoken fears, resulting in the best possible quality of life for aging Americans and their families.