The cost of nursing home care in New Hampshire is high--one of the highest in the nation--and has been steadily increasing. For the past several years, AARP has been assessing the opinions of its members in New Hampshire on the issue of long-term care (LTC) to help direct AARP's advocacy efforts in this area. Currently, New Hampshire spends most of its LTC funds for older adults on nursing home care, yet AARP research shows that its members would prefer to receive LTC in the home.
In fact, a January 2009 telephone survey of AARP New Hampshire members found that:
- Eighty-four percent of respondents support shifting state funding for LTC so a greater percentage goes toward home- and community-based services (HCBS).
- Ninety-one percent support AARP advocating for increased availability and funding for LTC services that enable people to remain in their own homes and communities.
- Eighty-six percent support developing a state LTC commission to ensure that services are being provided in the most desirable setting for consumers.
- Over half (68 percent) are more likely to vote for a candidate for state office who supports increased access to and availability of HCBS.
- Almost all respondents (94 percent) support expanding transportation options so the people who can no longer drive are able to continue living independently in their communities.
- Almost three-quarters (71 percent) would be at least somewhat willing to volunteer to assist people in their local area so they can remain in their homes.
These findings suggest that New Hampshire should seize the opportunity in the current economic conditions to consider the preferences of its residents and redirect some of its LTC funds into less costly and more desirable home- and community-based care options.
Between January 8 and January 11, 2009, Alan Newman Research conducted telephone interviews on LTC with a random sample of 800 New Hampshire AARP members with listed telephone numbers. For more information, contact Kate Bridges at 202-434-6329. (17 pages)