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AARP Survey Gives Views on Health, Home and Happiness

Being able to stay in their own homes as they age is a priority concern for Granite Staters 50 and older, according to an AARP survey.

See Also: Voices of 50+ America: Dreams and Challenges

The 2011 survey, Voices of 50+ New Hampshire: Dreams and Challenges, shows that nearly all – 95% – of New Hampshire residents say it’s important to stay in their own homes as they age. And more than four in five supports shifting funds used only for nursing homes to long-term care services that would allow them to stay in their homes and communities.

“New Hampshire’s current long-term care system is out of balance,” said AARP New Hampshire State Director Kelly Clark. “Currently, over 80% of taxpayer-funded long-term care dollars go to facility care, like nursing homes, leaving only 20% for home- and community-based care, which is what people want and is less costly. There is a major disconnect here.”

Other key findings of this landmark survey include:

Health and health care. Half of adults 50+ in New Hampshire say that health care issues are the top problem facing mid-life and older adults in the state. More than nine in ten say staying healthy and staying mentally sharp are extremely or very important to them. Most are worried about increasing health care costs and the possibility of losing insurance, not being able to pay for a major illness and/or becoming financially devastated because of illness.

Finances and the economy. Over a third of adults 50+ in New Hampshire cite economic issues – including having enough money to retire – as the biggest problem. Over eight out of ten say receiving Social Security and Medicare when needed is extremely or very important. And nearly all believe that protecting themselves against consumer fraud is important.

Retirement. Given that many New Hampshire adults 50+ are worried about health and financial issues, many say they will continue working beyond traditional retirement age. Only 13% say they want to retire and never return to work.

Top dreams. Adults 50+ say vacation and travel (42%), hobbies (21%), and time with family and friends (9%) are what they personally dream about doing next in their lives.

This New Hampshire survey was conducted by random digit dial telephone interviews with 402 Granite Staters between January 2 and January 31, 2011 with a sampling error of 5%. It is part of a national effort by AARP to gather information on the needs, interests and concerns of 50+ citizens.

To find out more, check out the entire Voices of 50+ New Hampshire: Dreams and Challenges report or the annotated questionnaire.