AARP is constantly striving to help improve the lives of those 50 and over, and as part of this effort undertook a telephone survey of over 29,000 people in this age group in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. What are the hopes and dreams of people across the United States and in Utah? The survey included 401 adults living in our state, with findings as follows:
- Over four in ten say that health care issues are the top concern or challenging facing mid-life and older adults, with over a third stating economic issues as the largest challenge.
- On a personal level, adults over 50 dream of having more time for vacation and travel, hobbies, and time with friends and family.
- Nearly 100 percent believe staying health and mentally fit is important to their lives.
- More than nine in ten say that health and financial security are very important in the lives of those over 50, but there are concerns toward meeting these goals.
- Less than four in ten have all they need to stay health or have adequate health insurance, and less than one quarter have all they need to receive Social Security and Medicare or protect against fraud.
It is not surprising that for over 80 percent of Utahns in the survey, financial issues and consumer protection issues are of concern to their lives.
As far as long-term care issues, essentially everyone asked thinks it is important to have home and community services available that allow people to stay in their homes. In fact, 75% support using nursing home funds to support aging in place.
So what does this mean for AARP Utah?
We will use this information to provide programs to keep people healthy, improve mental fitness, provide information about Social Security and Medicare, and educate consumers about how to avoid fraud. Our advocacy efforts will focus on these issues as well, and we will do all we can to provide resources to help people with their health care and financial needs.