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2005 Survey of AARP Members in California

AARP Member Opinion Research

This mail survey was conducted to explore and measure the opinions of AARP members in California on a variety of issues, including their view of state legislative priorities and their experiences regarding prescription drugs and long-term care.

Among the top concerns of respondents are—

  • Control of prescription-drug costs
  • Enforcement of safety and quality standards in nursing homes
  • Assurance that Social Security will continue to provide a guaranteed base for retirement income.

Survey highlights include:

  • Over half of California members are either extremely concerned (32%) or very concerned (21%) about being able to afford prescription drugs in the next two years, and another one in five (21%) say they are somewhat concerned.
  • Six in ten members would strongly support (60%) and another one in five would somewhat support (21%) a prescription drug discount program for low-income persons even if they may not be eligible to participate in it.
  • One in six members (16%) currently serves as a caregiver to a relative or friend and over four in ten (43%) provide care to their parents.
  • Members overwhelmingly support nursing home legislation that

    • Enforces nursing home safety and quality standards with citations, fines, or license revocation for nursing homes that violate those standards (93%)
    • Strengthens patients' rights (89%)
    • Establishes a statewide complaint response system (86%)

Out of 13 legislative issues, California members believe that AARP's top legislative priorities should be—

  • Ensuring that Social Security continues to provide a guaranteed base for retirement income
  • Making prescription drugs more affordable
  • Protecting access to promised pensions and retiree health benefits

For this AARP California Member Survey, conducted in July and August of 2005, a random sample of 2,000 AARP California members was selected from AARP's membership database. The sample was proportionally stratified by three age segments--50 to 59, 60 to 74, and 75+. Survey responses were weighted to reflect the distribution of the age segments in the member population of California. The weighted overall findings are discussed. Of 2,000 surveys mailed, a total of 879 (44%) were completed and returned. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

The findings have been divided into topical segments which have been published individually, and may be accessed by clicking on the appropriate subject above.

The reports were prepared by Jennifer H. Sauer and Brittne M. Nelson, both of AARP Knowledge Management. For more information, contact Jennifer Sauer at 202-434-6207.

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