AARP AARP States Florida Press

Survey:  New Technology, Modern Solutions Can Create Choices for Where and How Floridians Live, Grow Older

aarp florida logo

News Release

For Immediate Release
Oct. 11, 2016

Media Contact: Jessyca Sosa, 959-646-4584, jsosa@aarp.org

Florida’s senior population prefers to remain at home and in
their communities in order to receive needed long-term care services. 

St. Petersburg, Fla. — Florida has America’s highest percentage of 65-plus residents (19.4 percent), and its older population will continue to grow rapidly in the 21st Century.  Yet the state of Florida deals with its family caregivers and their loved ones as if it were still in the 1950s, AARP’s Florida state director said today.

“It’s time for 2016-florida-family-caregiver-profile-final and our older neighbors,” said State Director Jeff Johnson.  “That’s not only a better way to support families and Florida residents, but it can make our limited public resources stretch further and give our residents more choices for living independently, in their homes and communities, throughout their lives.”

Compared to other states, Florida spends a disproportionate share of its long-term care funding on institutional long-term care, such as nursing homes.  Yet in a new AARP survey, 82 percent of Florida registered voters said they wanted to 2016-florida-caregiving-independent-living-surplus-final and communities when basic tasks of living become more difficult as they grow older.

However, while other industries are undergoing sweeping transformations due to technological advances, Florida’s investment lags in modern technology and alternative models for long-term care services, Johnson noted.

“By providing care for frail older people in their homes and communities, we can provide care at a fraction of the cost of institutional care, but with outcomes equal to, and often better than, institutional care,” Johnson said.

Johnson also noted that Floridians overwhelmingly prefer to remain in their homes and communities rather than in institutions.  In the new AARP survey, about 71 percent of current and past caregivers say it is likely that they will need to provide care again in the future.  As such, nearly all – 99 percent – of these caregivers said it was somewhat or very important to be able to provide care so that their loved ones can keep living independently in their own home.

This data is part of a larger encompassing report that focuses on Florida’s unique demographics as it relates to the state’s 3 million family caregivers.

“The fact is, Florida’s long-term care budget and laws are behind the times and out of step with what voters want,” Johnson said.  “It’s time for Florida to plan for a new era.  New technology and modern solutions can create choices for where and how Floridians live and grow older.”

Johnson noted that new technology is creating new ways for older people to receive expert health care through “tele-health” initiatives, without leaving their homes.

Johnson said AARP is urging voters to ask candidates for the state House and Senate about their plans to modernize Florida’s long-term care budget.  AARP will seek to work with legislators in the 2017 legislative session to modernize the state’s long-term care funding and laws.

AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; the AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50 + educators; and our website, www.aarp.org . AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

# # #

About AARP Florida
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.