Three-quarters of Californians surveyed worry about paying for long-term care

We Stand with Seniors, a non-partisan education and advocacy group, announced the results of a survey on senior care issues conducted earlier this month. The survey of 1000 respondents revealed deep insecurity among Californians about the ability to plan and pay for long-term care.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed indicated that they are concerned about how they will pay for long-term care as they age.

According to the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, on average an individual will require two years of long-term care. In California, that care averages around $110,000 per year. Given that cost, it is no surprise that 87 percent of those surveyed also felt that it was important for California to have a plan for services that would allow seniors to age in place, like expanded in-home services and supportive programs for caregivers. In addition, 86 percent felt that California should invest additional funds in these services.

Senior care is poised to become an important issue in the upcoming gubernatorial election between current Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox. Prior to the primary vote in June, both candidates pledged to #standwithseniors, with Newsom promising “a master plan for aging with dignity” in his primary acceptance speech. 83 percent of those polled said they would favor a candidate with such a plan.

West Health and the SCAN Foundation came together to found We Stand for Seniors in 2018 to “shine a light on the growing challenges faced by California seniors and their families in accessing high-quality, affordable healthcare, dental care and supportive services.” Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health, remarked of the survey results,

“Voters across all political spectrums and demographics clearly understand the state is not doing enough to ensure we can care for our growing senior population and they want something done now, before it’s too late. Scaling best practices, expanding senior-specific programs and models of care that are working, and better utilization of existing resources can go a long way to address these critical needs.”