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High Gas Prices Cause 50+ To Modify Lifestyle

Sixty- Two Percent Limit Daily Driving, Says AARP Bulletin Survey

For Immediate Release

Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,

The October issue of the AARP Bulletin reports that almost two-thirds - 62 percent of Americans 50+ have limited their daily driving because of high gas prices.

The national data also found:

  • 47% cut down on travel and vacations.
  • 41% compensated for high gas prices by reducing other spending.
  • 40% of respondents were saving less.
  • 39% reduced visits with family and friends.
  • 28% increased the amount they walk.
  • 13 % said they were eating less.
  • 6% said they had reduced medical treatment.
  • 6 % said they had cut their prescriptions to accommodate higher fuel bills

The national telephone survey of 568 adults 50+ was conducted by International Communications Research (ICR) for the Bulletin September 7-11 and has a +/-4% margin of error.

"These are lifestyle-changing prices," said James Toedtman, editor of the AARP Bulletin. "Many people were already making significant adjustments before Katrina. Post-storm costs have driven Americans to find additional ways to trim their household budgets."

AARP Bulletin also reports that as the price of gasoline continues to rise, several community programs and small businesses are struggling to provide essential services such as food delivery and medical transportation to older Americans.

"In some parts of the country, particularly rural communities, the situation is dire," said Toedtman. Rising gas prices forced Homecare Solutions in Lexington, SC to raise its prices for visiting nursing assistants who provide daily bathing, meal preparation and light housekeeping for older citizens. Meals- on- Wheels in Richland, SC told the AARP Bulletin that they have cut food deliveries back from five to three days a week, are providing only emergency transportation on certain days and are establishing carpools in response to hiking gas prices.

"The rise in gas prices has created a one-two punch for our members as well as many older citizens and their families," said Toedtman. "Those who need help the most are losing services, as well as losing or reducing their personal contact with the world outside of their homes. We know that lives have been saved by daily check ins from those in community programs."

The monthly AARP Bulletin provides news and analysis of issues and trends important to Americans 50-plus. It is a must-read for policymakers, members of Congress and national opinion leaders. The publication covers Medicare, Social Security, health and medicine, consumer protection, care giving, pensions and finances for AARP's 35 million members.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50-plus have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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