The vast majority of?Boomers say it is important that their physician have specialized training in dealing with older patients, but a majority say they cannot find such a doctor, according to the first annual Senior Health Index from American System for Advancing Senior Health.
Nearly nine in 10 women (88%) consider it important to have a physician with senior-care expertise, according to the nationwide survey of adults age 55 and older, conducted for ASASH by Zogby International.
Moreover, 26% of polled women say their health may have suffered because their physician did not have such expertise.
Nearly half – 45% – of Boomers polled say they are likely to seek a different healthcare provider in order to obtain better results, and 45% say they believe it is possible to obtain better care than they are now receiving.
Other findings from the Senior Health Index:
- Most – 88% – want to be in control of their healthcare decisions, and half say they believe they themselves are in the best position to help improve the quality of their health.
- One in three say they need more help with their healthcare decisions, and 71% say they want to be able to find more information about their own healthcare.
- 89% say if they could find a credible source of information about their health and healthcare – specifically tailored to seniors – they would access it.
- Large majorities say they believe such information would help them better communicate with their physicians, follow treatment guidelines with confidence, use the overall healthcare system more effectively, lead a more healthy life in general, and do so while living at their own home.
- A large majority say they also believe such an information source would give them the self-assurance to talk to their healthcare provider with confidence about new treatment options that might be available for them.
- More than half – 53% – of respondents age 55-64 say they believe the country at large does not understand or care about the health challenges that senior citizens face; among those age 65 and older, 40% say so.
About the data: The Zogby interactive online survey of 3,110 adults, conducted March 14-17, 2008 for ASASH, included 610 respondents age 55-64 and 2,500 respondents age 65 and older.