August 1, 2019

New Poll Reveals California Voters Want the State to Meet Many Challenges Facing Older Adults, Families

California must address a range of issues in its Master Plan for Aging

(Sacramento, CA) – An overwhelming majority of California voters support Governor Newsom’s Executive Order calling for a Master Plan for Aging (Master Plan), according to a recent We Stand With Seniors statewide survey. Beyond supporting the plan’s development and examining the top aging-related priorities that voters want addressed, the survey found seven out of 10 voters – nearly half of whom are providing or have provided caregiving support – want the state to be held accountable for the Master Plan’s investment and implementation.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the state’s 65-and-older population is projected to grow nearly 90 percent in the coming decade, totaling 8.6 million seniors by 2030. In June, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order calling for the state’s first comprehensive, coordinated Master Plan for Aging to ensure Californians can age with dignity and independence.

We Stand With Seniors was co-founded by two nonprofits, West Health and The SCAN Foundation.

“Californians are united across the state – and across party lines – in their support for state investment and immediate action to address the needs of older adults,” said Shelley Lyford, President and CEO of West Health and Commissioner on the California Commission on Aging. “These findings reveal a clear consensus for urgent action to ensure older Californians have access to needed health and social supportive services.”

“From integrated healthcare, to in-home supports, to housing and transportation, voters clearly want to see across-the-board improvements in the way California supports older adults and families,” said Bruce Chernof, MD, President and CEO of The SCAN Foundation. “We look forward to a Master Plan that addresses these concerns and is a leading blueprint for how all Californians can age safely and with dignity. Older adults of today and tomorrow deserve nothing less.”

Developing a Responsive Master Plan for Aging
In numbers rarely seen in statewide polls, voters overwhelming agree that a Master Plan should address comprehensive senior care with 73 percent supporting the creation of an easily-accessible, organized and easy to navigate system of care for older adults—including healthcare, housing, transportation, emergency care and long-term care services.

The survey also revealed voters want immediate state action to:

  • Protect vulnerable, older adults – both physically and financially – 74%
  • Expand access to affordable in-home care and support services – 70%
  • Increase availability of affordable housing options for older adults – 67%
  • Support family caregivers including education, affordable access to home health supports, family leave protections – 64%
  • Increase availability of affordable transportation options for older adults – 63%
  • Prepare seniors and their families about the importance of financial planning for long-term care – 63%
  • Build an educated, culturally competent senior care services workforce, including home health workers and geriatric doctors – 61%
  • Ensure all older adults have access to affordable dental care – 61%
  • Streamline bureaucracy to improve delivery of services – 59%

Survey Methodology
From July 12-16, 2019, J. Wallin Opinion Research conducted a telephone survey of voters throughout California. One-thousand respondents were interviewed using live, professional interviewers, speaking Spanish and English languages and calling both mobile and landlines (56% of this survey was completed on mobile phones). A survey of this size yields a margin of error of +/-3.1% (95% confidence interval). Our sample is stratified, meaning that the demographic composition of our results matches the demographic composition of the region that we surveyed.

About We Stand With Seniors
West Health and The SCAN Foundation launched the nonpartisan, public awareness and education campaign We Stand With Seniors…Will You? in 2018 to highlight the need for a statewide, comprehensive Master Plan for Aging to address the growing challenges faced by California older adults, their families, and caregivers. In June 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order to develop a California Master Plan for Aging. Keep up with #StandWithSeniors on social media via Facebook @WeStandWithSeniors and Twitter @WeStandWSeniors.