Transportation, In-Home Services Top 2016 List of
Consumer Needs Among Older Adults

For Immediate Release
Contact: Joellen Leavelle, jleavelle@n4a.org and (202) 872-0888

Washington – Older Americans seeking help managing their independence most need support with finding transportation and services that enable them to continue living in their homes and communities for as long as possible, according to an analysis of data from 308,637 calls made in 2016 to the Eldercare Locator, a national information and referral service that provides support to individuals seeking assistance with a spectrum of issues affecting older adults. Making Connections: Consumer Needs in an Aging America, a newly released report from the Eldercare Locator, reveals that requests for information on housing, medical services and health insurance round out the list of the top five consumer needs among older adults in 2016.
 
By the year 2020, the number of the country’s older adults is expected to surpass 73 million people, more than double the size it was in 2010. The Eldercare Locator plays a vital role in connecting the 90 percent of older adults who want to age at home and in their communities to resources that can assist them with basic needs, including transportation to and from medical appointments, retrofits of their homes to meet their evolving needs, and other aspects of daily life. Making Connections shows how the Eldercare Locator’s national Call Center and website connect older adults to vital services that enable them to continue living at home and in their communities for as long as possible.
 
“This report is yet another example of the essential role the Eldercare Locator plays in the lives of older adults around the country,” said Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Administration for Community Living. “By connecting older adults in need of assistance to services in their communities, the Eldercare Locator fills a crucial need by making it easier for older adults to continue living in their homes and communities.” Nearly two-thirds of all 2016 calls to the Eldercare Locator were referred to local Area Agencies on Aging, which are uniquely positioned to connect older adults to a comprehensive range of home and community-based services.
 
Funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging, an agency of the Administration for Community Living, the Eldercare Locator’s website, www.eldercare.gov, receives more than 40,000 visits per month while the information specialists in the Call Center field an average of 1,286 phone calls per day. 
 
Making Connections also shows that the needs of older Americans are growing in complexity as the number of the country’s older Americans grows in size. Data highlighted in the report show that requests for assistance with issues related to elder abuse nearly tripled when compared to 2014 data.

“The Eldercare Locator plays an essential role in connecting older adults, their families and their caregivers to services that provide vital community-based support,” said Sandy Markwood, CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. “Making Connections shows the flexibility and responsiveness of the Aging Network as it has grown to meet the needs of the country’s burgeoning aging population,” said Markwood. “The ability of local agencies serving older adults to adapt to changing needs is nowhere more evident than in the array of services available through the Eldercare Locator.” 

About the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is a 501c(3) membership association representing America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation’s capital for the 256 Title VI Native American aging programs. The mission of n4a is to build the capacity of its members so they can better help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Visit www.n4a.org for more information.
 
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