As West Virginia’s population grows older, a recent AARP West Virginia survey finds that an overwhelming number of West Virginians support home and community-based services; critical programs that promote greater responsiveness to the needs of older West Virginians.
Home- and community-based services provide opportunities for West Virginia residents to receive care in their own home or community. Types of care could include help with personal care, health care, meals, or household chores. Receiving care at home is often less expensive than receiving it in an institution, like a nursing home, and it is often less stressful since care is provided in the comfort of one’s own home.
AARP West Virginia surveyed 800 registered West Virginia voters across the state to learn about their experiences in family caregiving, with an overwhelming majority of West Virginians expressing strong support for efforts to help older West Virginians remain in their homes longer. West Virginia’s county aging providers serve nearly a half-million older adults in our state, providing home care, congregate (group) and home-delivered meals, case management, family caregiver support, transportation, supportive and caregiver services.
Leaders from AARP West Virginia joined with the West Virginia Directors of Senior and Community Services to discuss details of the recent statewide survey of voters on caregiving services and supports and the aging network’s commitment to providing these critical services in West Virginia communities during a February 27 news conference at the West Virginia State Capitol, coinciding with the 50th day of the 2019 West Virginia Legislature 60-day regular session.
Among the survey’s key findings:
- An overwhelming majority (93%) of West Virginians 40+ say it is extremely or very important to have services available to them or their loved ones that would allow them to live independently at home for as long as possible.
- More than eight in ten West Virginians (84%) would prefer to receive care at home from a caregiver if needed for themselves or their loved ones.
- Four out of every five West Virginia voters believe it is important to have services available to help older adults live independently, and support their family caregivers, such as home delivered meal programs and congregate meals, such as senior lunch programs.
“Our survey results indicate that a lot of West Virginians support the critical services that support family caregivers, and that help older adults live independently at home,” said Rich Stonestreet, AARP West Virginia State President. “Caregiving is one of these rare issues that crosses geographic and political lines. This isn’t a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s a family issue.”
AARP, which counts nearly 300,000 West Virginians among its members, recently conducted caregiving surveys at the state level in the following states: California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and West Virginia. The Mountain State survey, conducted by American Directions and Aristotle International, surveyed 800 registered West Virginia voters age 40-plus between October 11 and November 1, 2018, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.46 percentage points.
AARP WV Media Contact: Tom Hunter, email@example.com, 304.340.4605