AP-NORC releases new analysis on Californians' experiences with long-term care

June 10, 2014, University of Chicago

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has released an issue brief containing results of a survey on long-term care in California. With a particular focus on demographics, the issue brief provides new data on how Californians are, or are not, planning for long-term care and their views on the role of family. This information is vital as policymakers are currently grappling with how to plan for and finance high-quality long-term care in the United States.

"This issue brief takes a focused look at long-term care attitudes and experiences in this large and diverse state," said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center. "Among several growing minority groups including Hispanics and foreign-born Californians, the survey reveals greater levels of concern about many aspects of aging and lower levels of planning for long-term care relative to other Californians."

As part of a national survey, the AP-NORC Center conducted 485 interviews with a representative sample of California adults who are at least 40 years old. Funding for the survey was provided by The SCAN Foundation.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of Californians 40 or older say they will need long-term care someday, yet the majority have done little or no planning for their own long-term care needs.
  • Across , a majority say they can rely on their family as they age, with differences based on age and household composition. Compared to the rest of the country, however, fewer Californians say they have discussed their long-term care planning needs with loved ones.
  • Similar to the rest of the country, Californians age 40 or older are more likely to have planned for their death than for long-term care—yet there are sharp differences across demographic groups in long-term care planning behaviors.
  • Hispanics and those born outside of the United States express greater concern than others about a number of aspects of aging.
  • Confidence in one's ability to pay for long-term care is lower among foreign-born Californians, those who are younger, and women.
  • Among California's caregivers, most acknowledge the stress of providing care to family or close friends, but overall they remain positive about the experience. Differences emerge based on a number of socioeconomic factors.
  • While 6 in 10 Californians age 40 or older expect a loved one to need care in the next five years, non-Hispanic whites, U.S.-born Californians, and those in higher-income households are much more likely than others to have planned for their loved one's care.
  • Polarization on some long-term care policies is greater among partisans in California than among partisans in the rest of the country, yet Democrats, Republicans, and independents agree on the extent to which individuals and families should be responsible for care costs relative to the government and insurers.

Explore further: National survey on long-term care: Expectations and reality

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