Long Term Care


California’s Hispanics Worry About Long-Term Care

There is a 45% increased risk of death in people who are lonely compared to not lonely, according to a UCSF study.

A new poll shows nearly one in five Hispanics has not discussed the kind of care they want as they get older. (Photo: Getty Images)

By Kevin Freking, Matt Hamilton, Associated Press

When it comes to planning for old age, Hispanics in California worry much more than whites about their ability to pay for care they may need and the prospect that they will be left alone without family and friends.

55 percent of Hispanics worry about paying for care, versus 37 percent of whites.

Yet, Hispanics are also more reticent to discuss plans for long-term care with their families, a new poll indicated. Fewer than one in five California Hispanics have discussed with a loved one the type of living assistance they would want, compared with nearly half of whites, according to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

California’s diverse aging population gives researchers the opportunity to better understand how various demographic groups deal with the issues of long-term care, which involves a range of services, from getting help from a health care aide at home to moving into a nursing home. Continue reading

More Single Boomers Share Homes — and Health Support

By Julie Rovner, NPR

Lorene Solivan moved into the "Golden Girls" house in October after seeing an ad on Craigslist. An event manager at a food company, Solivan says she often cooks dinner for the group. (Maggie Starbard/NPR)

Lorene Solivan moved into the “Golden Girls” house in October after seeing an ad on Craigslist. An event manager at a food company, Solivan says she often cooks dinner for the group. (Maggie Starbard/NPR)

Today more than 1 in every 3 baby boomers — that huge glut of people born between 1948 and 1964 — is unmarried. And those unmarried boomers are disproportionately women. As this vast generation rushes into retirement, there’s a growing concern among experts on aging: Who will take care of all these people when they’re too old to care for themselves?

It’s a question many of the experts take personally. “That is what scares me,” says Sara Rix, who works for the AARP Public Policy Institute, studying the economic prospects of women in the workforce. “Because I am one of those people,” she says, “and I do think about it.”

“Oh, I’ve got wonderful nieces and nephews,” Rix says, noting that’s what a lot of her boomer peers claim, too. “Well, in fact, they’ve got their families. They’ve got their in-laws. They’ve got their parents. And I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect much out of them.”

Kathleen Kelly, who runs the Family Caregiver Alliance and the National Center on Caregiving in San Francisco, says she’s seeing the same sort of concern in her social circle. “I’m in my 50s, and my friends are all talking about, ‘Could we all move in together? Could we buy an apartment building and all live together?’ There are all sorts of permutations of this conversation,” Kelly says. “But it really is something that people are thinking about, particularly women.”

And, because boomers are boomers, some are doing more than just thinking about it. Already, there’s a small but apparently growing movement of boomer women forming group houses with their single peers. Continue reading

Long-Term Care A Big Worry in California

By Sarah Varney, Kaiser Health News

It turns out Republicans and Democrats do have something they can agree on this election season – they’re worried about how to pay for long-term care when they or a family member can no longer live at home.

A new poll released Wednesday by The SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that half of California voters say they’ll need long-term care for a close family member in the next few years, but won’t be able to afford it.

Anxiety over the cost of long-term care, like the price tag of a nursing home stay, is going up. The percentage of California voters who said they couldn’t afford more than three months of nursing home care increased to 73 percent from 66 percent in 2011, and 46 percent said they didn’t have the money to cover a single month in a nursing home, about $6,800 in California. For Latinos, the prospect of paying for long-term care is even more grim: nine in 10 Latino voters said they couldn’t afford more than three months of nursing home care and 86 percent couldn’t afford more than three months of part-time care at home. Continue reading