Nursing homes and assisted living facilities, which were hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak, continue to find favor with most adults over 40, according to a national AARP poll conducted in September.
The poll found that most adults over 40 continue to have positive impressions of nursing homes (61%) and assisted living facilities (82%), and a strong majority (68%) of respondents said that they were satisfied with the way their community handled the outbreaks.
Still, four in ten adults believe spread of the cononavirus in long-term care facilities was a major problem. For some, this episode has eroded their confidence in these services. While 45% of respondents said the pandemic has had a negative impact on their opinion of nursing homes, 33% said it has hurt their opinion of assisted living facilities.
As a result of the pandemic, nearly three in ten adults over 40 said they are less likely to opt for facility-based care for themselves (28%) and their older family members (28%).
AARP also asked Americans how the health crisis has affected their long-term care planning for themselves and their aging family members, and the responses varied. A minority of adults 40 and over said they are thinking a bit more about long-term care, but that has not translated into additional planning for future services.
The survey indicated that adults 40 and over are eager for more information about long-term care, yet just one-third of respondents said they had investigated long-term care for an older family members and only 18% had sought out details about care for themselves. A health crisis will be what prompts many Americans to decide on services, according to 62% of those polled.
The majority of Americans still prefer care at home — and the numbers have increased after COVID-19. Ideally, people want a combination of paid and unpaid help to allow them to live at home as they age, the survey found. Most (82%) believed they would receive their preferred care option; those who don't believe so most often indicated that they do not want to burden family, can't afford the care they want, or don't have family nearby to provide care.