This mail survey was conducted to explore and measure the opinions of AARP members in Colorado on long-term care, prescription drug, and natural gas utility issues.
Among the top concerns of respondents are—
- Availability and affordability of desirable long-term care options
- Ability to stay in their own homes and communities as they age
- Affordability of prescription drugs
- Access to information on prescription drugs
- Increases in natural gas bills and service fees
Survey highlights include:
- More than eight in ten Colorado members think it is extremely or very important to have long-term care services that would enable them or their family members to stay at home as long as possible when long-term care is needed.
- About seven in ten Colorado members are worried about not being able to afford long-term care and about as many worry about having enough choices among long-term care services for themselves and their families.
- Because of the high cost of prescription drugs, a number of members report that they (or family members) have acted to reduce expenses by ordering drugs via mail or internet (31%), taking less medication than prescribed (16%) or cutting back on food, fuel or electricity (10%).
- Nearly eight in ten members (78%) support the creation by Colorado of a bulk purchasing pool to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, and more than half (51%) say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for state office who supported a bulk purchasing pool.
- About five in ten (51%) of all Colorado members have taken at least one cost-cutting action due to increases in their natural gas bills. One in seven (13%) have cut back on items such as food, prescription drugs, clothing, or other utilities to be able to afford to pay their natural gas bill.
- About eight in ten (78%) are at least somewhat concerned about being able to afford future natural gas increases.
AARP conducted the 2005 Colorado AARP Member Survey from August 24, 2005 through September 21, 2005. A random sample of 2,000 AARP members in Colorado, proportionally stratified by three age segments, 50 to 59, 60 to 74, and 75+, was selected from AARP's membership database. A total of 956 surveys (48%) were completed and returned. The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percent. Survey responses were weighted to reflect the distribution of the age segments in the member population of Colorado.
Joanne Binette, AARP Knowledge Management, managed all aspects of the project. The reports were written by Cassandra Burton, Anita Stowell-Ritter, and Brittne Nelson, all of AARP Knowledge Management. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303.