AARP New Jersey Survey: More than 90 Percent of New Jerseyans age 50+ support long-term care services in the home, according to new AARP poll

PLAINSBORO, NJ — A new AARP survey of New Jerseyans age 50 or older reflects an older population with bright dreams of traveling and spending time on leisure pursuits in retirement.  But the recent recession has put some of their options in question, with more than two thirds noting that they have difficulties paying basic household utility costs. Four in ten New Jersey adults 50+ worry about staying in their residence and local community as long as possible.

“This survey highlights the fact that New Jerseyans age 50+ are having to reconsider their retirement dreams and come to terms with a tough economy,” said Jim Dieterle, AARP New Jersey Senior State Director.  “While older New Jerseyans would like to enjoy retirement, potential challenges focused on financial issues, health and long-term care are causing anxiety and concern.  This is something for all generations of Americans to work on, and AARP’s research, advocacy and outreach can help guide us toward solutions that make sense.”

The New Jersey results come from a nationwide AARP survey effort – the Association conducted separate surveys in each of the 50 states and the three territories where AARP has offices, plus a national survey -- to better gather accurate information on the needs, interests and concerns of Americans 50+.  The survey found large gaps between what Americans 50+ believe they need to remain healthy, secure and active and what they expect to have.  More than 400 New Jerseyans were surveyed in January.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • 92% believe it is important to have long-term care services that allow for aging in the home. About 80% also support allowing Medicaid funds intended for nursing homes to be used for community or home care.
  • 80% of 50+ adults worry about one or more consumer financial security issues. Protection from identity theft and protection against deceptive financial practices are top worries.
  • 90% of New Jerseyans 50+ feel that it is extremely or very important that they continue to receive Social Security benefits. In New Jersey, there are over 1.44 million Social Security beneficiaries with more than 22% of those relying on Social Security for 90% or more of their income.
  • Other financial concerns involve utilities: 68% of New Jersey 50+ adults have experienced a problem paying their household utilities.

The survey is one of several tools that AARP leaders will use on both a New Jersey and national level to guide the association’s advocacy and informational work going forward, Dieterle said.  “This survey points to some serious concerns that New Jerseyans 50+ share.  These are issues that all of us can and should be thinking about and working on.  AARP New Jersey will use this information to continue its efforts to help New Jerseyans age 50+ live their best life,” Dieterle said.

For more information about the survey, including a copy of the survey report, or to schedule an interview on this issue, please contact the AARP New Jersey staff listed at the top of this release or visit AARP New Jersey’s website at .