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Poll finds two-thirds of California voters unprepared for costs of growing older
Date:8/16/2011

p>Sixty-three percent of respondents caring for an aging loved one said it is emotionally stressful, and nearly half said they are not regularly getting the social and emotional support they need.

In order to get help from the state for long-term care costs, individuals in California must qualify for Medi-Cal by spending down their assets to $2,000 and have a near-poverty income after paying for medical expenses.

According to survey respondents, affordability and accessible information should be high priorities for elected officials in California. Priorities include making long-term care insurance more affordable (64 percent), having affordable options to avoid nursing homes (63 percent) and having enough information about how to get help for people who cannot take care of themselves (59 percent).

"People can cut back on movie tickets and trips to the mall," said Steven P. Wallace, associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. "But long-term care is an essential expense. Most Californians will need it during their life, yet unfortunately, most Californians are not planning for it and the government is cutting back on affordable options that could help."

Wallace noted that cuts to California's budget have placed the network of home- and community-based services that enable elderly or disabled Californians to live on their own in their homes in jeopardy.

"The policy question moving forward has to be how to reorganize and sustain critical in-home programs that provide vital services and save the state from the far more expensive option of nursing homes," Wallace said.

The California 2012󈝹 state budget cut several key services that help those with long-term care needs remain in the community. Core state funding for Adult Day Health Care centers was eliminated, and cuts were made to In-Home Supportive Services, which provides assistance to low-income adults and children who are b
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Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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