FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2014
Jane Margesson: AARP Maine Communications Director
(207) 229-5628 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Parham: AARP Maine State Director
(207) 400-1026 or email@example.com
AARP Announces Results of 2014 Survey of Registered
Maine Voters 50 and Older
Maine’s Most Active Voting Demographic Weighs in on Issues Important to Them, Indicates Candidates Must Address Issues to Win Their Votes
PORTLAND: AARP Maine announced today the results of their 2014 Survey of Registered Maine Voters age 50 and older. Representing a membership of 231,000 in Maine, AARP, the leading non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to the needs and desires of all Americans as they age, commissioned the survey to gather opinions on issues of importance to this population during the 2014 mid-term elections. This survey collected the opinions of 2,000 Mainers age 50+ on the issues that matter to them which include financial security, consumer protections, age-friendly communities and long-term care.
“The survey revealed that Mainers 50+ are deeply concerned about financial security and maintaining their independence as they grow older,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “In fact, these concerns are so evident that an overwhelming majority of respondents indicated their intention to vote for candidates in 2014 who pledge to address these issues.”
Voters 50 and older in Maine are typically very active at the polls. According to the US Census Bureau, Maine’s voting data for voters 45+ in the last mid-term 2010 election was some of the highest in the country (69% ages 45-64, 77% ages 65-74, 74% ages 75+). In the 2012 election, the numbers were even higher (74% ages 45-64, 82% ages 65-74, 75% ages 75+). According to the 2014 AARP survey, Maine registered voters age 50+ say they are likely to vote for candidates who will work on issues that enable Mainers to have financial stability as long as possible. This includes ensuring they have affordable prescription drugs, affordable homes, safe-guards against scams, and adequate work opportunities.
“The 2014 AARP survey clearly demonstrates a deep concern regarding financial security, particularly for lower income individuals,” said Parham. “Nearly half (49%) of those earning less than $20,000 have no confidence of ever being able to retire. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of this same group reported being extremely or very worried about having health or medical expenses they couldn’t afford. Mainers will be counting on leadership in both Augusta and in Washington to address these very prevalent concerns.”
Another issue raised through the survey is long-term care and the desire of Mainers to remain in their own communities as they age. According to the survey, nearly three-quarters of Maine registered voters age 50 and older think funding services that enable seniors to remain in their homes for as long as possible should be a top or high priority for elected officials in the state. Nearly seven out of ten think it should be a top or high priority for Maine’s elected officials to support age-friendly communities by funding services, programs, or infrastructure changes that enable residents to “age in place”.
“Most registered Maine voters age 50 and older have been family caregivers or expect to be in the future,” said Parham. “Given this large proportion of the population that is affected by this issue, it is not surprising that the vast majority also think it should be a top or high priority for elected officials in Maine to fund services that support family caregivers.”
Today, unpaid family caregivers provide the bulk of care for older Mainers, in part because the cost of long-term care remains unaffordable for most middle income families. In Maine, more than 279,000 residents help their aging parents, spouses and other loved ones stay at home by providing assistance with bathing and dressing, transportation, finances, complex medical tasks like wound care and injections, and more. The annual value of this unpaid care totals approximately 2.3 billion dollars. ( http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving/info-07-2011/valuing-the-invaluable.html)
“AARP hopes that this survey will serve as a gateway to fruitful discussions among the 2014 candidates on these issues which are clearly of paramount importance to the health and financial well-being of Maine residents 50+,” said Parham. “AARP Maine stands ready to work with current and future lawmakers to find viable long-term solutions that make sense for Mainers and their families. As the oldest state per capita with 50 people turning 65 every day, the issues pertinent to Maine’s older and most active voting demographic should be a top priority in the 2014 elections.”
For a copy of the complete 2014 AARP Survey of Maine Registered Voters Age 50 and Older: http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-2014/maine-registered-voters-issues-concerns.html
For a copy of Raising Expectations 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers published 6/19/14: www.longtermscorecard.org
# # #
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The 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. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.