Minorities More Interested in Senior Living for Themselves than Parents

SAN MATEO, CA; March 21, 2016 — Caucasian Americans are much more likely than African Americans and Hispanics to consider senior living communities when they and their parents get older, according to a new Caring.com report. However, the findings suggest a major attitude adjustment may be underway.

In 2010, the CDC reported 91% of assisted living residents were Caucasian. At present, Caring.com found 64% of Caucasians would consider placing a parent in an assisted/independent living community versus 37% of African Americans and Hispanics.

The Caring.com survey also indicated that Hispanics and African Americans are much more open to senior living communities for themselves than their parents: 49% of Hispanics and 46% of African Americans would consider living in one of these communities themselves. Caucasians feel about the same for themselves as they do for their parents.

“In some cultures, senior living facilities have been seen as taboo, as in: ‘I would never put Mom in a home,’” said Dayna Steele, Caring.com’s Chief Caring Expert and the author of Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook and a Really Big Glass of Wine. “But most of today’s assisted living communities are really nice and nothing like the negative stereotypes of the past. As these places get more diverse, I think that will encourage even more Hispanics and African Americans to move in.”

Among those who don’t want to live in an assisted or independent living community, the most popular explanation is they would prefer to live on their own, followed by they would prefer to live with a family member. Just 8% said these types of communities are too expensive.

Additional findings:

• 64% of 30-64 year-olds would someday consider a senior living community for themselves. That drops to 53% for people age 65 and older.

• Americans’ interest in senior living communities increases with income and education.

• Millennials are the least likely – by a wide margin – to consider assisted/independent living communities for their parents when they get older.

Below, Steele takes a deeper dive into the issue of millenials’ perceptions of senior living, and how parents can talk to their millenial kids about their wishes for senior care.

Caring.com commissioned Princeton Survey Research Associates International to obtain telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline and cell phone in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from February 18-21, 2016. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.