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Perceptions & Opinions of Assisted Living: A Survey of AARP Members in Pennsylvania

AARP Member Opinion Research

The definition of assisted living programs in Pennsylvania is unclear. Federal law does not regulate assisted living programs, nor does it impose minimum standards of care. Current Pennsylvania law makes no distinction between assisted living facilities and personal care homes despite the differences in the services they provide.

This survey of Pennsylvania AARP members explored their concerns and opinions about long-term care (LTC) and assisted living. Its findings highlights members' uncertainty about the differences between LTC services as well as the need for comprehensive legislation that defines and regulates assisted living facilities.

Of the 1,197 members polled by mail...

  • 43 percent would prefer that they or a family member stay in their own home with the help of a nurse should the need for LTC arise
  • 35 percent would prefer to use services offered in a residential facility such as assisted living
  • 46 percent agree that a personal care home is the same as an assisted living facility
  • 37 percent agree that a nursing home is the same as an assisted living facility
  • over 8 in 10 support legislation designed to define and regulate assisted living facilities

Research for this study was conducted from April through June 2003 as part of the 2003 AARP Pennsylvania Issues Survey. The report was prepared by Katherine Bridges and David Cicero of AARP Knowledge Management. For further information about this study, please, contact Katherine Bridges at 202/434-6329. (20 pages)

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