How Does Your Brain Score? Take the Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment

The Costs of Long-Term Care: Public Perceptions versus Reality in 2006

How much do age 45+ Americans really know about long-term care (LTC) costs and how to pay for them? Not as much as they think they do. And much of what they think they know frequently turns out to be inaccurate.
Of those surveyed...
  • 60 percent say they are at least “somewhat familiar” and 21 percent say they are “very familiar” with LTC services currently available
  • 8 percent are able to estimate the monthly cost of nursing homes within 20 percent plus-or-minus while 17 percent say they “don’t know”
  • 9 percent come within 20 percent plus-or-minus of the cost for an in-home visit by an aide and 20 percent don’t know


If this sounds familiar, it should. This survey was first administered to age 45+ Americans in 2001 with similar results. Five years later, public perceptions about what long-term care services cost or what insurance or government programs cover them still don’t match reality.
The study was conducted—and the report prepared—for AARP by Roper Public Affairs & Media of GfK NOP. Survey data were gathered through telephone interviews with a national random sample of 1,456 age 45+ adults between August 23rd and September 25th, 2006. In addition, state-level data were gathered via telephone interviews with a random sample of 400 people in each of the following states—California, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Further information about this study may be obtained by contacting Linda Barrett of AARP Knowledge Management at 202-434-6197. (151 pages)

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Resource Center

Find tools, work sheets and tips on how to plan, prepare and succeed as a caregiver. Select a Caregiving Resource Center topic from the drop-down menu below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get free basic lenses at

Prescription medication spilling out of bottle

Members get a free Rx discount card from AARP® Prescription Discounts provided by Catamaran.

grocery coupon center member benefit aarp

Members can print savings coupons at the Grocery Coupon Center powered by

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.