Older adults and professionals have different perspectives on what it takes to age independently.
Nearly 8 in 10 older adults (78 percent) are generally satisfied with their community’s infrastructure and a majority (92 percent) say it is easy for them to get where they need to go.
However, only 22 percent of older Americans surveyed find public Transportation “acceptable,” and nearly 3 in 10 rate it as “poor” (28 percent).
Staying at home and independent:
A majority of older adults have not changed residences in more than 20 years (58 percent), and 75 percent say they intend to live in their current home for the rest of their lives.
Many older adults have been proactive in making home improvements to help them age in place, including 34 percent who have made bathroom upgrades and 28 percent who have improved lighting.
Both older adults and professionals who work with them would like to see services that would help older Americans with home modifications and repairs (62 percent and 97 percent, respectively).
When asked what concerns they have about living independently, adults 60 and older say they are most concerned about becoming a burden to others (42 percent), experiencing memory loss (41 percent) and not being able to get out of the house and/or drive (34 percent)
Community Connections: Improving Support
Older Americans and the professionals who serve them have different ideas of what the community can do to support older adults.
While a majority of both older adults and professionals say older Americans are prepared for the overall process of aging (86 percent and 77 percent, respectively), older adults are far more confident.
Fewer professionals surveyed feel older Americans are “very prepared” to age, compared with older adults (10 percent and 42 percent).
Fifty-nine percent of older adults say that young people today are less supportive of seniors than their own generation was in previous years. Only about a quarter (24 percent) see the same levels of support, and just 12 percent say young people are more supportive of older adults.
Yet, 79 percent of seniors express confidence that they would be able to find help and support in their communities as they age.
Although older adults and professionals agree their communities offer seniors a good quality of life (79 percent and 92 percent, respectively), fewer than half of older adults (47 percent, down from 54 percent in 2014 and 49 percent in 2013) and professionals (37 percent) say their community is doing enough to prepare for the needs of retiring Baby Boomers.
Older adults rank running errands such as buying groceries and picking up medications as the top way they participate in the community (54 percent), followed by church or other faith-based organizations (52 percent), and attending local social events and events to watch their grandchildren (40 percent and 40 percent).
In comparison, professionals see older adults participating in the community most through church or other faith-based organizations (91 percent).
For complete survey results, visit www.ncoa.org/UnitedStatesofAging.
About The United States of Aging Survey. The United States of Aging Survey is an annual survey conducted by the by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, National Council on Aging and UnitedHealthcare