What do seniors want? And what does our country need to meet their demands? The National Council on Aging (NCOA) partnered with UnitedHealthcare and USA Today to examine these and other questions in the 2013 United States of Aging survey; results were released last month.
After conducting 4,000 telephone interviews from a number of senior audiences across America (those over 80 years old, those with 3 or more chronic health issues, low-income seniors, etc.), NCOA and their collaborators organized the findings into the following categories: general outlook on life, health preparedness, financial security, community support, and use of technology. This fact sheet outlines the key findings.
Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of seniors had a positive outlook on life (also of note — women and African Americans were the most optimistic about aging), had few concerns about their health, and believed their community to be responsive to their needs; not surprisingly, many were concerned about their future financial security and whether their income and savings would last throughout their lifetime.
The most striking finding though, per an NCOA press release: “Relationships with friends and family outweigh financial concerns among older Americans seeking fulfillment in their senior years.”
Of course, there is much work to be done when it comes to having enough resources — both human and capital — to care for our rapidly aging population. But isn’t it good to know that most of our seniors have a positive view of what’s to come?