Americans ‘Favorable’ on Assisted Living, But Still Uninformed

Though most Americans view assisted living in a positive light, a majority still think they’ll never need it.

That doesn’t mean they haven’t thought about it; more than three quarters of Americans, or 76%, had thought some or a lot about their living situation in retirement, according to a national survey commissioned by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). But despite giving thought to the topic, only 44% of respondents believed they would eventually require long-term care.

The federal government, meanwhile, has estimated that 70% of elderly Americans will need long-term care at some time in their lives.

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When asked what they would like to do if they could no longer live on their own, 28% of those surveyed said they would opt to move into an assisted living facility, 25% said they would hire an in-home caregiver and 28% said they would move in with a family member.

The survey, which polled 2,018 registered voters from November 20-23, also revealed that 75% of Americans have a favorable opinion of assisted living communities. According to NCAL, when informed about some of the specialities, services and initiatives assisted living communities undertake, the respondents’ favorability increased “overwhelmingly.”

According to the survey results, 75% of Americans view assisted living facilities favorably, 61% view nursing facilities favorably, 56% view nursing homes favorably and 79% view independent living facilities favorably.

“Many would assume that all Americans want to stay in their home for the rest of their lives, but this research shows that some in fact want the option of residing in an assisted living community,” said NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle.

Meanwhile, 33% of Americans surveyed expressed the belief that Medicare will cover the majority of their health care expenses in retirement, despite the fact that Medicare does not cover long-term care supports and services.

Morning Consult conducted the research on behalf of NCAL.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson 

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