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AARP: Consumers Hear Less About LTC

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Doctors and relatives may be doing less these days to warn Americans about the cost of long term care.

Researchers at AARP, Washington, have published figures concerning consumers’ LTC awareness in a summary of a recent survey of 1,456 U.S. consumers ages 42 and older.

Consumers over age 45 gave answers for nursing home care and assisted living care that were about 30% higher than estimates a similar group of consumers gave in 2001, AARP researchers report.

But the average estimates were far lower than the actual cost of care, the researchers write.

Current survey participants were about as likely to say they get information about LTC costs from newspapers, employers and miscellaneous sources as participants in the 2001 survey were.

For nursing home care, for example, about 10% of current survey participants said they got their nursing home cost information from newspapers and other media outlets, the same as in 2001.

The percentage who said they got nursing home cost information from an “insurance company representative or literature” fell slightly, to 5%, from 6% in 2001.

But the percentage who said they got information from friends or family fell to 34%, from 39%, and the percentage who said they got information from health care professionals fell to 3%, from 6%, the AARP researchers report.