Survey Finds Many Seniors Are Unprepared to Maintain Independence as They Age
In a survey conducted by SCAN, a leading senior-focused organization found that many seniors are unprepared to live independently as they age. The not-for-profit organization’s research shows 79 percent of U.S. seniors are concerned about health care or other issues impacting their ability to live independently in their own homes over the long term while 54 percent are concerned about their ability to even afford health care. Another 52 percent believe Medicare will be affected if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
SCAN also found that almost three in 10 indicated they feel less prepared to live independently in their own homes as they age than they did 12 months ago. Survey results also revealed 79 percent of seniors are more concerned about the future of Medicare than they were one year ago.
“While most of us want to remain as independent as possible as we age, it’s troubling that a significant number of U.S. seniors are not confident they will be able to do so,” stated SCAN’s CEO Chris Wang. “With nearly one in three seniors feeling less prepared to live independently than they did even one year ago, our survey shows their concerns range from health care affordability and quality to access to the care they need.”
After survey 1,000 U.S. adults age 64 and above, SCAN found that of those concerned about their ability to live independently as they age, 54 percent worry about their ability to afford healthcare, 34 percent are anxious about the quality of care they will receive and 25 percent have concerns about access to care. Fully 84 percent of seniors sometimes have difficulty understanding their Medicare options, with 9 percent stating they have difficulty all the time. While 74 percent of respondents feel uninformed about one or more areas related to Medicare coverage, 34 percent feel most uninformed about the various Medicare coverage plans and 20 percent feel most uninformed about long-term care coverage.
“No matter how the health care debate in Washington resolves itself, it’s worrisome so many seniors lack a clear understanding of Medicare and their options for coverage,” added Wing. “Today’s healthcare landscape can be complex, but it’s disconcerting to note 40 percent of seniors incorrectly believe that once they reach eligibility age, they become automatically enrolled in Medicare. With so many seniors expressing concerns related to living independently, it’s obvious there is work to be done to ensure people have what they need to age on their own terms.”