Seniors want to age at home with caregiver support

LONDON: A new poll confirms a surge in the percentage of seniors seeking to stay at home for life.

A new AARP poll finds voters over age 50 overwhelmingly want to age in their own homes with caregiver support. The poll comes as Congress prepares to vote on the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion budget that includes billions of dollars for home- and community-based services.

In the survey of 1,400 older voters, AARP found 87% wanted to age in place with caregiver support; the same percentage wanted to choose how long-term care services would be provided. Respondents also overwhelmingly supported a $5,000 tax credit for family caregivers, as proposed in the bipartisan Credit for Caring Act. And a majority of respondents supported increased resources for in-home care and for Medicaid to guarantee home care services as a choice for seniors in need of long-term care.

The survey found the broad support for in-home services was evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

The administration’s plan, known as Build Back Better, would expand home care for older adults, while improving job training, wages and benefits for caregivers. The plan would also bolster affordable housing for seniors.

Several bills under discussion, such as the Caring for Credit Act, may wind up in the reconciliation package. Among them are the Choose Home Act, which would allow seniors who qualify for nursing home services to get skilled nursing care in their homes.