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Findings from a New Survey Among California Voters 40 and Older on Long-Term Care

September 13, 2012

External Publication

Authors: The SCAN Foundation, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Lake Research Partners

This survey examines the long-term care issues facing voters 40 and older, while assessing their financial preparedness for obtaining care. The poll, now in its third year, found that Californians, regardless of political party or income level, are struggling in the weak economy to save money for future long-term care expenses.

Some key findings include:

Nearly half of voters 40 and older anticipate needing long-term care services for a close family member within the next five years, yet most cannot afford more than three months of care. One in four (24%) respondents says they or a loved one has received long-term care in the past five years. About half (49%) say they are likely to need it in the next five years for a family member. Of these, 75% say they could not pay for more than three months of nursing home care. Nearly half (47%) could not pay for even one month of care.

Caregivers feel financial and emotional stress. Fifty-nine percent of caregivers in the survey say providing care is emotionally stressful. Among caregivers, the same proportion (59%) says they have incurred out-of-pocket expenses related to the care they provide. Of these, 68% say their expenses have been a financial hardship.

Voters 40 and older place affordable long-term care high on the list of priorities for California’s elected officials. Nearly nine in ten respondents (88%) say having affordable long-term care options is a high or moderate priority for elected officials in the state. Majorities across party affiliation and income levels agree.

This statewide survey among 1,667 registered voters in California ages 40 and older was fielded August 15 through 22, 2012. ​

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