| Tue, Aug 05, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Are Communities Doing Enough To Meet The Needs Of Seniors?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

senior

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the National Council on Aging (NCOA), UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY surveyed more than 3,200 individuals across the United States, including nationally representative samples of seniors 60 and older and adults 18-59. The purpose of the survey was to get seniors’ perspectives on aging and to find out what communities can do to prepare for the booming senior population in the future.

Health

More than half of seniors surveyed report setting health goals in 2014 and more than one-third of seniors say they exercise every day.

Seniors who set health goals are more than twice as likely to think their overall quality of life will improve compared with those who didn’t set health goals (38 percent versus 16 percent). The top three health goals set by seniors this year are eating healthier (37 percent), losing weight (30 percent), and living a more physically active lifestyle (24 percent).

Finances

Although the majority of the seniors responding are comfortable with their current financial situation, most are concerned about their long-term financial security. A majority of seniors say it is easy to pay monthly bills, but nearly half of seniors (49 percent) are concerned their savings and income will be sufficient to last the rest of their lives.

The majority of seniors are retired (57 percent), while 28 percent are still in the workforce. The top reasons seniors still work is to stay active and productive (62%), because they enjoy it (60%) and because they need the income (50%). Seniors 60-64 are more likely to say they still work because they’re not yet eligible for Medicare.

Community

Survey results say just more than half of seniors (54 percent) feel their communities are doing enough to prepare for the needs of a growing senior population. While 59 percent of seniors feel their communities provide adequate access to transportation, 39 percent feel their communities provide adequate access to affordable housing and only 22 percent feel their communities meet home maintenance needs for seniors.

When asked what worries them the most about their senior years, the top three answers for seniors are “not being able to take care of myself” (16 percent), “losing my memory” (14 percent), and “being a burden” (9 percent).

Overall Conclusions

The survey shows that older Americans are taking steps to improve their health. In comparison to the last two years, seniors are more engaged with their health and have a more optimistic outlook.

For complete survey results, visit the United States of Aging 2014.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

Resources:

National Council on Aging: Information to help older adults stay safe and healthy—NCOA.org

Connections With People Most Important for Seniors’ Quality of Life:—NCOA.org

The 8 Domains of Livability: What makes a city “livable?”—AARP.org

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