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Bridging the Gap: Voices of 50+ Washington

More than half of all Washingtonians age 50+ say they don’t have what they need to address their most important challenges or achieve their biggest goals, according to new research by AARP.

AARP recently released the statewide survey exploring the challenges, concerns and dreams of older adults in the state. Top of mind issues ranged from the practical to the personal, but the findings showed older Washingtonians are most concerned about staying healthy – both physically and mentally. More than 9 in 10 Washington adults 50+ say that staying healthy (96%), staying mentally sharp (93%) and having adequate health insurance (90%) are extremely or very important to them. More than 8 in 10 say that receiving Medicare when needed (83%) is extremely or very important.

According to the survey, spending time with family and friends (86%), protecting themselves from consumer fraud (75%), and receiving Social Security when needed (82%) rounded out some of the most important issues.

However, when it came to being prepared to meet those goals the news wasn’t so good. Only about four in ten said they had all they needed to stay mentally sharp (40%), have adequate health care coverage (39%), and spend time with family and friends (39%). Even fewer said they have everything the need to stay healthy (34%), protect themselves from consumer fraud (27%), receive Medicare (27%) and Social Security when needed (27%).

“It’s not surprising that almost every Washingtonian 50+ says staying healthy and connected with their loved ones is important,” said AARP State Director Doug Shadel. “But it is alarming that the overwhelming majority of them don’t think they have what they need to meet those goals. We all have a role to play in bridging that gap.”

Shadel pointed to AARP’s advocacy work in Olympia as an important part of the ongoing effort to help build a more secure future for older Washingtonians and their families.

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