New Study Shows What Americans Don’t Know About Long-Term Care

From the Right at Home website.

Most Americans know what long-term care is and how much it costs, but their scores fall short regarding how many people will need it and how they will pay for it. The MetLife Long-Term Care IQ Survey, taken by 1,021 individuals aged 40 to 70 in 2009, reveals that most are not taking appropriate steps to protect themselves from potentially catastrophic expenses.

According to the study:

-Just 36% of those surveyed know that 60%-70% of 65-year-olds will require long-term care services at some point in their lives.
-Just 37% know that most long-term care services are received at home.
-Older people (over 60) are more knowledgeable about long-term care than younger people (40 to 49).
-Only 45% are aware that one in five American households care for an adult family member or loved one.
-Few are taking action to protect themselves from such potentially catastrophic expenses; only 18% know long-term care insurance rates are based on age.
-87% are aware that a comprehensive long-term care policy covers home, assisted living and nursing home care.

Read more here at the Right at Home website.

Aging in Place in the Suburbs: Making “Lifelong Communities”

The move to suburbia over the past decades has been for privacy, elbow room, and affordability. Currently, the suburbs are home to as much as half of the U.S. population and more than 30 million people age 55-plus. However, what may have been a good place to grow up starts to be a tough place to grow old. Suburban living means maintaining yards and homes and driving everywhere. (Research shows that men and women who reach their 70s, on average, outlive their ability to drive by six and 10 years, respectively.) Despite these difficulties, AARP surveys report fully 85% of surveyed individuals age 50-plus still wish to remain in their communities for as long as possible.

It is no wonder that there is a growing movement afoot (a movement started in the 80s with New Urbanism) with a community goal of allowing residents to stay put in their own homes as they age, to redesign the suburbs with more areas for walking to services, and more greenways and parks to promote social interaction.

So look for retrofitting of suburbs coming to a suburb near you. Look for redesign to include neighborhood centers (think: town squares), “walkability” (leaving the car in the garage) and lots of choices (a mix of housing options, services and amenities) are emphasized.

To read this interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, click here.

To find out more about new Urbanism, click here.