Understanding long-term-care planning behavior of baby-boom aged adults : identifying the influence of location of responsibility and other factors
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Our current LTC system is burdensome to state and federal governments, to family members, and to individuals’ pocket books; it is not expected to endure the weight of the baby boom generation. Total national spending for long-term care in 2005 was $207 billion and is only expected to rise. This study examined 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 three aims: to 1) to describe the LTC planning behavior among baby boom aged adults; 2) examine baby-boom aged adults’ views on whose responsibility is the planning/provision/cost of LTC (location of responsibility); and 3) examine the influence of potential predictors of individuals’ LTC planning with specific focus on the influence of location of responsibility (LOR). Data was collected between May and August of 2009 using a mixed modes self-administered 80-item original survey via the internet and regular mail (study sample = 1,066; 1,166 responding; response rate 58%). The study population consists of benefit-eligible Black, Hispanic/Latino, and Non-Hispanic White faculty/staff born in or between the years of 1946 and 1964 from a large southwestern university. This study found overall low levels of LTC planning; however, with regard to LTCI purchase, the participation rate is good relative to the national coverage rate. The study informs us that baby-boom aged individuals as a whole believe themselves (individuals) to have a high level of responsibility for their own potential LTC needs, but also that responsibility lies with the government, employers, and adult children as well. Consistent with hypotheses, LTC awareness/avoidance predicted a higher level of extent of planning (gathering, deciding, and concretizing); worthwhileness and self-efficacy predicted LTCI purchase; and awareness, subjective norm, worthwhileness, and self-efficacy predicted LTC specific savings. Additionally, individual responsibility (negatively), female (positively), income (positively), experience (self and other; positively), LTC knowledge (positively), and Hispanic (negatively) all predicted extent of planning. Employer responsibility (positively), faculty (negatively), marital status (married; negatively), Black (positively), and medical diagnoses all predicted LTCI purchase. And, employer responsibility (positively), government responsibility (negatively), income (positively), experience-other (positively), and knowledge (positively) all predicted LTC-specific savings. Implications for practitioners, employers, program planners, and policy-makers are presented.