National Poll on Healthy Aging Reports
NPHA is sponsored by AARP and the University of Michigan
Sponsored by AARP and the University of Michigan, the National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA) is a recurring, nationally representative household survey.
By tapping into the perspectives of older adults and their caregivers, the NPHA helps inform the public, health care providers, policymakers, and advocates on issues related to health, health care, and health policy affecting U.S. adults age 50–80 and their families.
Launched in spring 2017, the NPHA grew out of a strong interest in aging-related issues among many members of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, which brings together more than 600 faculty who study health, health care and the impacts of health policy. In addition to IHPI and AARP, the poll receives support from Michigan Medicine, U-M's academic medical center.
These poll results elevate the voices of the public, inspire future research, and inform national dialogue. U-M researchers also evaluate the poll data for further insights that are shared via academic channels.
You are welcome to sign up for notification of poll results. For media inquiries, please visit the NPHA media page.
Religious and Spiritual Beliefs and Health Care
Most older adults are wary of mixing health care and religion or spirituality, but the majority see a role for health care providers in finding meaning or hope in the face of illness.
Look for the Helpers: Providing Support to Older Adults
Supporting everything from health care needs and personal care to home repairs and finances brings both challenges and rewards for adults over 50.
Older adults report high interest but uneven use of at-home medical tests to screen for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, some cancers, and potential genetic health risks.
Nearly half of older adults say arthritis or joint pain limits their usual activities, but many haven’t talked to a doctor about medication risks.
Use of and Interest in Integrative Medicine Strategies
Many older adults look beyond conventional medicine for help, but few talk to their doctors about it, poll finds.
Women’s Health: Sex, Intimacy, and Menopause
Poll shows impact of menopause and other health issues on older women’s sex lives.
Older Adults’ Preparedness to Age in Place
Most older adults want to ‘age in place’ but many have not taken steps to help them do so.
Decision-Making About Elective Surgery
Elective surgery comes with costs, discomfort, caregiving needs, and more – but most older adults who opt for an operation were very satisfied they did.
Mobile Health App Use Among Older Adults
Health apps could help older adults with anything from sleep to diabetes, but many do not use them.
Joy and Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had complex effects on the emotional and mental health of older adults.
Planning for Health Care Needs Before Traveling
Many older Americans plan to take long trips soon, and most say they’ll take steps to anticipate medical needs while away for two weeks or more.
Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Among Older Adults
Many older adults with chronic health conditions are not checking blood pressure at home or being encouraged to do so.
Saving for Future Health Care Expenses
Poll finds tax-free accounts used less by those who may need them most.
Physical Functioning and Falls During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Pandemic may have increased older adults’ fall risk, poll suggests.
Alcohol Use Among Older Adults
Poll finds risky drinking patterns in older adults during hte COVID-19 pandemic.
Mental Health Among Older Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The pandemic worsened many older adults mental health, but they've also shown long-term resilience.
Older Adults Experiences with Advance Care Planning
Less than half of adults over 50 have formally recorded their medical care preferences if they get seriously ill.
Hearing Loss Among Older Adults: Screening and Testing
Most adults over 50 have not been screened or tested for hearing loss in the past two years.
At Home and in the Neighborhood During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Poll shows disparities among older adults in their ability to isolate at home or get outside.
Emergency Department Use Among Older Adults: Experiences & Perspectives
Wait times, COVID-19 risk, and costs top concerns about seeking emergency care.
Older Adults' Perspectives on a COVID-19 Vaccine
Over half of older adults say they’ll get a COVID-19 vaccine, but many want to wait.
Older Adults' Experiences with Comprehensive Medication Reviews
Poll shows the majority of older adults who take multiple medications have never had a comprehensive medication review.
Loneliness Among Older Adults Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Poll shows loneliness doubled among older adults in first months of COVID-19.
Telehealth Use Among Older Adults Before and During COVID-19
Telehealth visits have skyrocketed for older adults, but some concerns and barriers remain.
Everyday Ageism and Health: Older Adults Experiences with Everyday Ageism
Age-based discrimination in employment, housing, and health care can negatively affect older adults’ health and well-being.
The Joy of Cooking and Its Benefits for Older Adults
Most older adults cook and eat healthier at home, poll finds.
How Food Insecurity Affects Older Adults
Food insecurity, defined as difficulty in acquiring or accessing food due to a lack of money, affected one in nine of all U.S. households in 2018.
Dental Care & Coverage After 65: Experiences & Perspectives
Older adults show strong support for dental coverage through Medicare, poll finds.
Searching for a Good Doctor, Online
How do older adults use online physician ratings?
Poll finds risky use by some, and opportunities for providers to improve.
Virtual Visits: Telehealth and Older Adults
Few older adults have had telehealth visits with their providers but many would be interested in these visits in specific situations.
Emergency Planning Among Older Adults
Many older adults are not fully prepared for emergency situations.
Safely Storing Medication Around Grandchildren
Many grandparents keep their medications in easy-to-reach places or in easy-to-open containers which can raise the risk of accidental poisoning or intentional misuse.
Many in their 50s and early 60s take supplements or do puzzles in hopes of protecting brain health, but may miss out on effective strategies.
How Pets Contribute to Healthy Aging
Pets help older adults cope with health issues, get active, and connect with others.
Many older adults, especially those with health issues, feel lonely and isolated.
Health Insurance Decision-Making Near Retirement
Pre-Medicare years bring health insurance worries for many.
Urinary Incontinence: An Invitable Part of Aging
Half of women over 50 experience incontinence, but most have not talked to a doctor.
Older Adults' Views on Genetic Testing
Older adults show interest in, and some skepticism about, genetic testing.
Vision and Eye Care in Older Adults
Convenience, cost, and lack of insurance coverage affect eye care decisions for older adults.
Older Adults' Experiences with Opioid Prescriptions
Three in four older adults support prescription restrictions, but many keep unused pills and do not get information on risks.
Logging in: Using Patient Portals to Access Health Information
Half of older adults do not use their health provider’s secure patient communication site.
The majority of older adults are satisfied with their sex lives.
Older Adults' Perspective on Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana gets wary welcome from older adults.
Too Much of a Good Thing? Overuse of Health Care
More is not always better when it comes to health care according to many older adults.
Flu Vaccine for Nursing Home Staff and Residents
Nursing homes should require flu shots for all staff and patients most older adults say.
Drug Interactions: How to Avoid Them
Lack of communication puts older adults at risk of drug interactions.
Dementia Caregivers: Juggling, Delaying, and Looking Forward
There are stresses and rewards for of those who take care of loved ones with dementia.
Trouble Sleeping? Don't Assume it's a Normal Part of Aging
One in three older adults take something to help them sleep, but many are not talking to their doctors.
Dental Care at Midlife — Unmet Needs, Uncertain Future
Many adults age 50 to 64 report dental pain, embarrassment, and poor prevention.
Doctors and Pharmacists: An Underused Resource to Manage Drug Costs for Older Adults
Older Americans do not get or seek enough help from doctors and pharmacists on drug costs.
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