Many Older Americans Feel Prepared for Aging

Many Older Americans Feel Prepared for Aging

FRIDAY, July 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Most older Americans feel they are prepared for the process of aging, but many have concerns about maintaining their physical and mental health as they get older, a new survey finds.

The 2015 United States of Aging Survey of 1,000 adults 60 and older found that 86 percent felt prepared overall for the process of aging, and 42 percent said they are “very prepared” to age.

Forty percent said they are most concerned about maintaining their physical health, while more than one-third were concerned about maintaining their mental health and their memory as they get older.

More than two-thirds of respondents said the keys to good health include a healthy diet, having a good attitude and getting enough sleep. Fifty-eight percent said they had not changed residences in more than 20 years, and three-quarters said they intend to live in their current home for the rest of their lives.

The survey also included 150 professionals who support seniors, such as doctors, pharmacists, senior care specialists and credit union managers. They were less sure that older adults could maintain their quality of life.

While 43 percent of older respondents felt very confident they would be able to afford health care costs as they age, 62 percent of professionals were not confident that older adults can afford these costs.

Only 47 percent of older adults and 37 percent of professionals felt their communities were doing enough to prepare for the needs of retiring baby boomers.

The top aging-related concerns cited by the professionals included protecting seniors from financial scams, providing them with affordable housing, and memory loss.

“Both older adults and the professionals who support them offered strong but conflicting opinions on the top challenges older Americans face as they age,” Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer of UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions, said in a news release from the company.

“The findings remind us of how valuable these different perspectives are and the importance of addressing many concerns simultaneously to ensure we all fully support the rapidly growing senior population,” she added.

Each day, more than 10,000 American baby boomers turn 65, according to the news release.

The survey was conducted by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the National Council on Aging, and UnitedHealthcare.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice about healthy aging.