“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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
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.
ResourcesMedicare Made Clear talks about 2012 US of Aging results: Medicaremadeclear.com
United States of Aging Survey: National Council on Aging (ncoa.org)
Eldercare Locator: Resources and topics for healthy aging – Eldercar.gov