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The Virgin Islands and Long-Term Care: A Survey of AARP Members

AARP Member Opinion Research

By 2025, persons age 65 and older will comprise 23% of the population of the Virgin Islands, placing additional demands on the territory's limited long term care (LTC) services. Findings from this mail survey of 786 AARP members in the Virgin Islands suggest that:

Members may not be able to make informed choices about LTC. Eighty-five percent of respondents said that if they or a family member needed LTC, it would be important for them to stay at home for as long as possible. However, 52% are not informed about LTC services available at home or in the community.

Members may experience problems paying for LTC if home care is unavailable. Only 4% are confident in their ability to pay for 2 years of nursing home care. More than half believe they could rely on Medicare or other health insurance for help, even though these programs typically do not cover LTC costs.

Community services may exist, but they are generally inaccessible to members. Over half say that it would be hard to find appropriate LTC services that they can afford in their communities. In addition, 48% of members or family members who have needed LTC in the past 5 years had problems finding appropriate care when and where it was needed.

This mail survey of 786 AARP Virgin Islands members age 50 and older was conducted from August 29 through October 3, 2007. The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.55% and a response rate of 39%. Further information may be obtained by contacting Anita Stowell-Ritter at 202-434-6205.

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