Hartford Fellowship in Geriatric Social Work

The population is aging, with the number of elderly expected to climb to 72 million by 2030. Most of these individuals will need some form of long-term care (LTC) at some point in their older adult lives. Our current LTC system is burdensome to state and federal governments, to family members (who provide the bulk of care), and to individuals’ pocket books.

The system is not expected to endure the weight of the baby boom generation. Total national spending for long-term care in 2004 was $194 billion (GULTCFP, 2007) and is only expected to rise. High cost of private pay services, very limited related coverage under Medicare, restrictive access to Medicaid long-term care services, and changing family patterns beg the question: How will the average American afford LTC care in the near future? It is unclear to what extent individuals are aware of or concerned about such costs or the extent to which they are planning for such care/costs. It is also unknown: what are Baby-Boomers views on who is responsible for the provision/cost of LTC?

This study will examine the LTC planning behavior of individuals of baby boom birth years (1946 to 1964), focusing on the influence of individuals’ views about whose responsibility is the provision of LTC on planning behavior. Specifically, the study has the following aims:

  1. to describe the LTC planning behavior among baby boom aged adults;
  2. to examine baby-boom aged adults’ views on whose responsibility is the planning/provision/cost of LTC (location of responsibility); and
  3. to examine the influence of potential predictors of individuals’ LTC planning with specific focus on the influence of location of responsibility (LOR).

Gerontological Society of America