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2016 Conference Presentation

(Inter)national systems United States

5 September 2016

What are Americans’ primary concerns about becoming disabled, and how are they acting or willing to act on those concerns?

Angela Greene, RTI International, United States


With the aging of the U.S. population and the higher prevalence of chronic illness and disability, understanding what concerns Americans have about becoming disabled and using social care and what actions they are willing to take should they need social care is increasingly important. A key issue is understanding what concerns motivate people to develop a plan to address possible disability.

Using data from the Survey of Long-Term Care Awareness and Planning, we find high very levels of concern about affording social care, ability to choose the type of social care, losing independence, and being a burden to family. The most popular options for social care actions were to make modifications to homes; rely on spouse, family or friend; or have family or friend move in. Few people were willing to use home equity to pay for care or to move to a nursing home.


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