NYC Voters Caring For Aging Loved Ones Are Stressed, Expect More Support from the State, AARP NY Report

March 14, 2024

Three in ten voters age 40 and older who live in New York City are caring for an older family member, or have done so in the past.

In addition, the vast majority (75%) say they are stressed as they also manage jobs and other responsibilities, according to an AARP New York survey released today.

Mirroring concerns of voters 40-plus across the state, 83% in New York City say they want state government to increase funding for family caregiver support. But nearly all (80%) do not believe state government does enough, or aren’t sure, for family caregivers, who are the backbone of the state’s long-term care system.

“We know that older adults represent the fastest growing segment of New York’s population, and we know family members provide the bulk of support for the majority of older adults who really want to remain at home as they age and experience challenges to their medical and cognitive health,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “Adult caregivers are doing their part. But what people in New York City are telling us, like others across the state, is that they aren’t confident that New York State is doing its part.


“We are asking Governor Hochul and the State Legislature to hear New York City voters by allocating the necessary funding for services their loved ones require, instead of cutting them as the Governor proposes in her 2024-25 Executive Budget.”

The report, “New York City Voters Age 40 and Older: Their Attitudes and Opinions about Caregiving and Long-Term Care,” was gleaned from a statewide telephone survey of 1,345 registered voters age 40-plus that AARP New York conducted last fall. Unpaid family caregivers consistently discussed the growing day-to-day responsibility for a spouse, parent or other older loved one.

The nearly 70% of New York City caregivers who work say they struggle to balance their duties. Nearly all working caregivers cut their hours or made other adjustments and 18% gave up work entirely.

More than 70%d say they feel stressed emotionally and 30% feel strained financially. Nearly all (94%) reported incurring some expense while caregiving, including for transportation, prescription drugs and hiring home health aides. Most say they would like the state to increase funding for home care services, which fall well short of demand.  

Among the New York City caregiving report’s other key findings:

  • 67% of caregivers are women; most care for a mother in her 80s                                                                 
  • 94% offer social activities and companionship, topping the list of medical and non-medical tasks
  • One in three caregivers care, or cared, for someone with mental decline
  • 87% of voters want caregivers to have job flexibility; 81% called for financial assistance; and 83% for paid time
  • 91% worry about the quality of care they would receive in a nursing home
  • 91% want more funding for New York State’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

Among the recommendations, AARP New York is advocating in the final 2024-25 state budget:

Eliminate Waiting Lists – Providing $51 million will eliminate the waiting lists too many older New Yorkers find themselves languishing on as they and their family caregivers await basic services such as transportation, housekeeping and personal care.

Increased Transparency – Require the State Office for the Aging to develop and post detailed reporting of where the waiting list exists by county and service requested, and provide this information to the Governor and Legislature annually as well as an accounting of the prior year’s expenditure, by county and service, on addressing the waiting list.

Nursing Home Oversight – Provide an additional $15 million in funding for New York State’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program to ensure that all nursing homes and other adult care facilities are visited on a regular basis.

To read the full report and learn more visit: www.aarp.org/NY

AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp/www.aarp.org/español or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.


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