Half of Middle Aged Voters Likely to Need Long-term Care within Next 5 Years Yet Can’t Afford It

Close to half of California voters 40 years and older claim that they will need long-term care for a close family member within the next 5 year. Yet just as many say they don’t have the funds to cover even one month of nursing home care, currently averaging $6,800. These findings are the result of a recent poll from The SCAN Foundation and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; this is their 3rd year of conducting this poll.


The poll demonstrates that Californians, regardless of political party or income level, are not successfully saving funds for future long-term care expenses.  Almost 1/2 of the people polled said their income has declined this year, 22% have borrowed money to help cover their basic expenses, and 42% have even cut back on necessary expenses such as food and transportation.

Many people are concerned about growing older in a time where both the aging population is expanding rapidly and the state is in financial crisis. California’s population of people aged 65 and older is expected to double to 8 million in 20 years by 2032.

For Latinos statewide, the situation is even more dire. Below is an excerpt of some of the findings for California’s Latino voter population:

91% of Latino voters could not afford more than 3 months of nursing home care, and 86% could not afford more than 3 months of part-time in-home care.

78% of Latino respondents said they worry about making ends meet, compared with 53% of whites.

Nearly 1 in 4 Latino respondents (23%) had medical debt, compared with 15% of whites.

Nearly 1 in 3 Latino respondents (31%) inaccurately believe Medicare covers long-term nursing home care — more than twice as many as white respondents (12%).

60% of Latino voters anticipate a close family member needing paid long-term care in the next 5 years, compared to 46% of white respondents.

See poll findings for more information. See our Long-Term Care section for more info on long-term care coverage and financing options.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.