Describe older adults’ knowledge and attitudes about healthy aging through a selection of past reports from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.
Highlight specific interventions that can help improve health and well-being among older adults.
Examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health and well-being of older adults.
Key Clinical Points
Primary care providers are trusted sources of information and guidance for older adults.
The poll results highlight topics that are important to many patients but not always discussed by health care providers, such as sexual health, emergency preparedness, and the cost of prescription medications.
One often talks about wanting to hear the perspectives of everyday people, to inform gaps in knowledge that cannot be addressed through traditional research methods. The University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging (NPHA) grew out of a desire to identify and fill some of those gaps through learning about issues that affect the day-to-day lives and experiences of older adults in the United States to improve their health and health care.
Launched in 2017, the NPHA examines older adults’ knowledge and attitudes on timely topics related to healthy aging through a recurring nationally representative household survey. Surveys are fielded two to three times per year with a sample of approximately 2000 individuals aged 50 to 80, and completion rates are typically 60% to 80% (Table 21-1). The NPHA is directed by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation and sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan’s academic medical center.
TABLE 21-1NATIONAL POLL ON HEALTHY AGING, RESPONDENT DEMOGRAPHICS (n = 2023)a ||Download (.pdf) TABLE 21-1 NATIONAL POLL ON HEALTHY AGING, RESPONDENT DEMOGRAPHICS (n = 2023)a
|50–59 (n = 650) ||32% |
|60–69 (n = 792) ||39% |
|70–80 (n = 581) ||29% |
|Male (n = 950) ||47% |
|Female (n = 1073) ||53% |
|White, non-Hispanic (n = 1530) ||76% |
|Black, non-Hispanic (n = 187) ||9% |
|Hispanic (n = 181) ||9% |
|Other, non-Hispanic (n = 125) ||6% |
|Marital Status |
|Married or partnered (n = 1437) ||71% |
|Not married or partnered (n = 586) ||29% |
|Lives Alone |
|Yes (n = 423) ||21% |
|No (n = 1600) ||79% |
|Physical Health (Self-reported) |
|Excellent/Very good (n = 914) ||45% |
|Good (n = 816) ||40% |
|Fair or poor (n = 292) ||14% |
|Mental Health (Self-reported) |
|Excellent/Very good (n = 1353) ||67% |
|Good (n = 510) ||25% |
|Fair or poor (n = 154) ||8% |
|High school or less (n = 668) ||33% |
|Some college (n = 668) ||33% |
|Bachelor’s degree or higher (n = 687) ||34% |
|Current Employment Status |
|Employed (n = 813) ||40% |
|Retired (n = 939) ||46% |
|Not working at this time (n = 169) ||8% |
|On disability (n = 99) ||5% |
|Total Household Income (Annual) |
|< $30,000 ...|