A new AARP survey of Arkansans age 50 or older reflects a population that believes strongly in the concept of aging in place.
Survey participants were asked “If you or a family member needed long-term care services, how important would it be to you to have services that would allow you or your family member to stay at home as long as possible?”
The responses were overwhelming in favor of staying at home:
- Extremely Important, 47%
- Very Important, 34%
- Somewhat Important, 13%
- Not Very Important, 3%
- Not At All Important, 2%
- Not Sure, 1%
“The ability to live independently in the home as you age is important to many people over 50,” said Maria Reynolds-Diaz, AARP Arkansas state director. “These survey results remind us of the need for adequate and plentiful home and community-based services for all older Arkansans. It’s why AARP advocates so strongly for these types of services. We are fighting for issues that matter to older Arkansans.”
One of AARP Arkansas’ Legislative Priorities for 2011 is to give consumers a choice in long-term care. Because most people prefer to receive services and support in their homes, the organization is asking the state to allocate a greater share of resources to home and community-based care.
The survey is one of several tools that AARP leaders will use on both the state and national level to guide the association’s advocacy and informational work in the near future, Reynolds-Diaz said.
“This survey points to some serious concerns that Arkansans 50+ share,” Reynolds-Diaz said. “Since all of us look forward to growing older, these are issues that all of us can and should be thinking about and working on. AARP Arkansas will use this information to continue its efforts to help Arkansans age 50+ live their best life.”
The Arkansas results come from a larger AARP survey effort of the 50 states and the three territories where AARP has offices. More than 400 Arkansans were surveyed in January.