Public Opinion Poll: U.S. Attitudes About Investing in Older Adults

American families face a crisis as millions of us are growing older without access to affordable care and support we need. Polling commissioned by LeadingAge shows that large bipartisan majorities of Americans want real support for older adults—and they want it now. 

American families face a crisis as millions of us are growing older without access to affordable care and support we need. As Congress and the Administration move forward on “care economy” proposals that provide for much-needed support and services, LeadingAge commissioned new polling of U.S. adults to uncover current public attitudes. 

Result show that large majorities of Americans are very concerned about how older adults are treated, and believe that elected officials have failed older adults. Americans from both parties want the government to step up with investments and leadership to properly support our nation’s older adults—and they believe that should happen now.


Public Opinion Poll: U.S. Attitudes About Investing in Aging Services for Older Adults

For more information, read LeadingAge's press release. LeadingAge members can access sample press materials for your use and attend our member-only briefing on Thursday, July 15


Topline Findings

Americans agree that now is the time to focus on our nation’s older adults.

  • 85% of Americans agree that now is the right time to think about building a better aging services system for our seniors.

    • 91% of Democrats, 83% of Independents and 80% of Republicans agree now is the time to think about building a better system for seniors.

    • Support is nearly consistent regardless of where Americans live, with 85% of urban Americans, 87% of suburban Americans, and 82% of rural Americans agreeing.  

  • Nearly one in five Americans say the President and Congress should be focused on improving care and services for seniors as a priority in the next few months.

Support for greater investment in services for older adults is overwhelming and bipartisan.

  • 86% say the government must make a bigger investment in services and care for seniors. This includes 92% of Democrats, 80% of Republicans, and 84% of Independents. 

Americans overwhelmingly support the proposed investments for older adults that are currently on the table.

  • 89% of Americans support public investment in affordable home care services to help older adults with essential needs like bathing and dressing, medication management, transportation, and basic daily chores.

  • 86% support public investment in housing and support for low-income older adults to address the shortage and waiting lists that lead to homelessness, instability, and skipping meals and medicine to pay rent.

  • 83% support public investment in broadband internet to ensure equitable access for older adults who need this basic utility for telehealth and other care services, and to fight social isolation.

The public believes that care and services like those currently proposed by the President and Congress are a basic right, and that the government plays a critical role in fulfilling society’s obligation to ensure they are available.

  • 85% of Americans agree that every American has a right to receive a basic level of housing, healthcare, and essential support regardless of age.

    • Regardless of political party affiliation support is robust: 92% of Democrats, 85% of Independents, and 75% of Republicans agree. 

  • 91% of Americans agree that older Americans should have the support and resources they need to lead a fulfilling life.

    • Support is strong regardless of political party affiliation, with 93% of Democrats, 92% of Independents, and 88% of Republicans agreeing.

  • 89% of Americans agree that the government has an important role in ensuring that seniors are taken care of.

    • This sentiment is nearly unanimous regardless of where people live, with 92% of Americans in urban settings, 90% suburban, and 83% rural agreeing. 

  • Only 22% of Americans think the amount of money we spend on older people is too high. This includes 14% of Republicans, 13% of Independents, and 31% of Democrats. 

Americans say older adults are not treated well in the United States and that elected officials have failed them.

  • More than half of all Americans say that older adults are not treated well in the United States.

  • 83% of Americans say that elected officials have failed older adults and the people who care for them by ignoring and underfunding America's aging services for decades. The gaps and shortcomings of our government's system have created unnecessary hardship and struggle for too many families who cannot access or afford the care they need.

    • This sentiment is consistent across locales, with 85% of Americans in rural settings, 83% in urban settings, and 83% in suburban areas agreeing.