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Perceptions of Long-term Care and the Economic Recession: AARP Bulletin Poll

This AARP Bulletin poll examined where people ages 45 and older think they will receive long-term care (LTC) services (if needed), how the economic recession has affected their expectations, and how financially prepared they feel for LTC if they suddenly needed such care for an indefinite period of time.

Key findings include the following:

  • In 2008, most respondents (42%) said that if they required LTC, they expected to live at home and have an aide for a few hours each day. This proportion increased slightly (49%) in 2009 as a result of the economic downturn.
  • In 2008, 29% said they never thought about or did not know where they would receive LTC services; in 2009, this figure dropped to 22%.
  • About half of respondents (51%) said they feel very or fairly prepared to financially deal with a situation in which they would suddenly require LTC for an indefinite period of time, while more than four in ten said they are not very (18%) or not at all prepared (25%).
  • Older respondents (age 65+) and those with higher incomes (over $25,000 annually) were more likely to say they feel financially prepared for LTC than their counterparts.
  • Men were more likely than women to say they never thought about or did not know where they would receive LTC services (in 2008, 36% versus 23%; in 2009, 27% versus 18%).

This AARP Bulletin poll was conducted via telephone by ICR, an independent research company, during April 2-5, 2009, among a nationally representative sample of 1,051 respondents ages 45 and older. For more information, contact Linda Barrett at 202-434-6197. (9 pages)

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