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Planning for Long-Term Care: A Survey of Midlife and Older Women

Women in our national survey have a basic understanding of long-term care and its costs, but most seem ill-prepared to pay for their own care if they need it.  While more than eight in ten women believe that one year of care in a private room in a nursing home is more expensive than four years of college, when asked about specific examples of care (i.e., a private room in a nursing home, a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility, and a home health aide), their estimates of national average costs vary widely.

Most believe the costs of long-term care will be covered by Medicare or by private long-term care insurance, but when asked about their own plans, about six in ten women said they have not planned for how they will pay for care if they need it.  And, many believe that their spouse or another family member will care for them but they do not seem to have accounted for the significant costs that their caregivers may incur in doing so.

This telephone survey of 502 women ages 45-64 was conducted for AARP by Woelfel Research, Inc. from July 8-August 19, 2010.  For more information about this research, please contact Teresa A. Keenan, Ph.D., at 202-434-6274.

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