Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The survey results are in. Some may surprise you.

The second annual United States of Aging Survey results are in. UnitedHealthcare, USA TODAY, and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) interviewed 4,000 U.S. adults for their views on and experiences with health preparedness, financial security, community support and technology use.

“The United States of Aging Survey has shown us for two years now that seniors are an optimistic group,” said Rhonda Randall, D.O., chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. “By studying seniors’ priorities, successes and unmet needs, we hope to identify the services, programs and infrastructure that best support older adults so that future generations of seniors can have this same sense of optimism as they age.”

In general, seniors are optimistic, but it seems the optimism differs based on a person’s health and financial situation. Below are a few highlights from the survey.
The survey found most seniors express little concern about the status of their health today. At the same time, many are not investing in activities that are important to help manage their health for the long-term. The survey also found:
  • Although 6 in 10 seniors describe their health in the past year as “normal,” 65 percent of seniors report at least two chronic health conditions.
  • A majority (84 percent) say it is not very or not at all difficult to perform regular activities independently.
The survey found the opportunities for health improvement are even greater among low income seniors and those with chronic health conditions. The survey also found:
  • Low income seniors, in particular, report challenges in managing their health. Seventy-five percent of low income seniors with one or more chronic health condition face at least one barrier, such as lack of energy or money versus 53 percent of seniors overall.
The survey found that although most seniors are comfortable with their current financial situation, a majority of seniors express concerns about their long-term financial security. The survey also found:
  • More than half (53 percent) of seniors are concerned that their savings and income will be sufficient to last the rest of their life.
  • Forty-one percent of working seniors indicate Social Security will be their primary source of retirement income (compared with 23 percent of adults aged 18-59).
The survey found that while the majority of seniors agree that their community is responsive to their needs, many lack confidence that their community is prepared to the meet the needs of a growing senior population. The survey also found:
  • Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of seniors say their community is responsive to their needs versus 61 percent of adults aged 18-59.
  • Only 1 in 2 (49 percent) seniors believe their community is doing enough to prepare for the future needs of the growing senior population (versus 45 percent of adults aged 18-59).
Naturally, people experience aging in different ways. To learn more on how other seniors experience aging or to get complete United States of Aging Survey results, visit
For more information, 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. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.


Medicare Made Clear talks about 2012 US of Aging results:
United States of Aging Survey: National Council on Aging (
Eldercare Locator: Resources and topics for healthy aging –

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