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Survey: Majority of Floridians Concerned About Nursing Home Costs

The Westwood Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. is pictured on Sept. 13, 2017.
The Westwood Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. is pictured on Sept. 13, 2017.

Nearly three-fourths of Floridians are concerned about the costs of nursing-home care, with the worries highest among women,  according to results of the annual USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey released Tuesday by the University of South Florida.

The survey found that 37 percent of the people surveyed were “very” concerned about nursing-home costs, while 36 percent were “somewhat” concerned. It found that 44 percent of women were “very” concerned, compared with 28 percent of men.

“Common explanations are longer life expectancies among women and a higher percentage of women caregivers --- both at home and in assisted- living facilities and nursing homes,” said a summary written by project director Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political-science professor.

The survey also found the greatest worries among people ages 55 to 64. “First, this age group is more aware of the actual costs of nursing home care since many are already dealing with elder relatives in such facilities,” the summary said.

“Second, they are worried from a personal perspective. Many have not saved enough money for retirement and are quite aware that they are likely to live longer than today's elderly and (are) worried they won't live better.”

The survey of 1,215 Floridians age 18 and older was conducted from July 24 to Aug. 14. The margin of error is 2.8 percentage points.

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