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Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Are Still Popular, Despite Coronavirus Outbreaks

Attitudes Toward Long-Term Care Amid COVID-19

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.

Methodology

The AARP phone survey of 696 Americans 40 and over was conducted in September. For more information, please contact Laura Skufca at lskufca@aarp.org. For media inquiries, contact media@aarp.org.

 

Suggested citation:

Skufca, Laura. Attitudes Toward Long-Term Care Amid COVID-19. Washington, DC: AARP Research, November 2020. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00421.001

 

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