Wandering senior, nursing home

In a blow to the skilled nursing industry, 61% of Americans now report that they would rather die than live in a nursing home. That’s according to a Nationwide Retirement Institute survey of almost 1,300 U.S. adults aged 24 or more years conducted by the Harris Poll.

The survey found that almost half of these adults (48%) worry more now about the safety of nursing homes than they did before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially true for baby boomers (57%) as compared with 43% of millennials and 41% of Gen Xers. In addition, approximately one in three Americans worry more now about being isolated and alone (35%) and about being able to afford long-term care for themselves (30%) or a family member (30%).

“This is a very challenging time for caregivers,” said Holly Snyder, president of Nationwide’s life insurance business. “We recognize the strain the pandemic has put on all caregivers and that they face unique emotional and financial challenges. Our survey found that Americans prefer to stay in their home for long-term care (71%), and most would like to have the option of relying on a family member if they needed long-term care (68%) but would not expect them to do so if they were unable to pay them (69%).”

This article appeared in the McKnight’s Business Daily, a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.