Learning Center

John A. Hartford Foundation Public Poll: “How Does It Feel? The Older Adult Health Care Experience”

Large majorities of older Americans experience significant and troubling gaps in their primary care, according to our new national survey, “How Does It Feel? The Older Adult Health Care Experience,” released April 24, 2012.

The poll focuses exclusively on Americans age 65 and older and assesses whether, in the past 12 months, patients received seven important medical services to support healthy aging, including:

  • an annual medication review,
  • a falls risk assessment and history,
  • depression screening,
  • referral to community-based health resources, and
  • discussion of their ability to perform routine daily tasks and activities without help.


This type of low-cost, low-tech geriatric care can manage and lower patients’ risk of a number of preventable health problems that erode quality of life, increase health care costs, cause disability, and even kill. Yet only a tiny number (7%) of older adults surveyed received all seven recommended services, all critical elements of a standard geriatric assessment. Fifty-two percent report receiving none or only one, and a large majority (76%) received fewer than half.

The poll also explored older adults’ satisfaction with their care (high), their awareness of available health benefits (low), and their views on whether more geriatrics education is important and would improve health care (yes). We have a variety of materials available to help you learn more about the poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners from February 29, 2012, through March 3, 2012, among 1,028 adults age 65 and older.

Press release
Topline poll results
Powerpoint presentation of results
Poll memo from Lake Research Partners
Recording of poll preview webinar
Health AGEnda blog, “How Does It Feel? Not As Good As It Should”

For assistance and resources in communicating these findings to a variety of audiences, please contact Elliott Walker at Strategic Communications & Planning (ewalker@aboutscp.com; 610-687-5495) or Marcus Escobedo at the John A. Hartford Foundation (marcus.escobedo@jhartfound.org; 212-832-7788).


31 thoughts on “John A. Hartford Foundation Public Poll: “How Does It Feel? The Older Adult Health Care Experience”

  1. Pingback: How Does It Feel? Not As Good As It Should | Health AGEnda

  2. Pingback: Obamacare’s Medicare Wellness Benefit ‘Nobody Knows’ About | DesiP2P.com

  3. Pingback: Daily Clips, April 24th, 2012 | Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer's Disease

  4. Pingback: Compassion and Choices » Doctors Fall Short in Helping Seniors, Poll Reveals

  5. Pingback: Poll: Doctors Fall Short in Helping Many Seniors | The HealthCare Advocate

  6. Pingback: Poll: Doctors fall short in helping many seniors | Best Articles And News

  7. Five hospitals mishandled me (71yrs) filthy oxygen tubes dropped on floor and ignored my needs; left me alone without seeing a doctor after falling against a brick fireplace on my head and discharged me without care. knees replaced poorly, loose, pain unable to walk 5 yrs. Emory , Altanta, GA; Emory Symra GA; Wellstar, Cobb Hospital, Acworth, GA, etc goes on forever. Doctors not interested in complex diagnosis or care. Have been dropped by doctors, nurses and hospitals. They WANT ME TO DIE…AND GET OUT OF THEIR FACILITY. mENTALLY i AM OK. tHEY ARE NOT OK.

  8. I just want to live the remainder of my life without pain caused by doctors mistakes, and drugs that cause more trouble than they are worth ordered by doctors who do not know the drugs side effects and generic drugs that are not up to the +/- 25% of active drug and I have to not get needed drug the doctor wanted me to have. So I suffer longer and ultimately will die sooner re: generic drug failure.

  9. who reads your reports. Will they accomplish anything”? Or are doctors only for the young.

    • I agrre that such surveys & reports will not help any one, beacuse USA is a democracry for the capitalists by the capitalists.

  10. Pingback: Health And Wellness Report – Saturday April 28th, 2012 « Family Survival Protocol

  11. Pingback: Poll: Doctors fall short in helping many seniors | GAMA

  12. Pingback: The Older Adult Health Care Experience – Doctors Fall Short in Helping Many Seniors – Poll Results

  13. Unless the entire population thinks through the issues of aging and health care model, these issues are going to exponentially grow. Dependence on unwanted, long term usage of prescription medication, unnecessary surgeries and procedures, etc. increases the pain for the seniors physically, mentally and monetarily.

    Every single family should have a senior friendly bath room and bed room in the ground floor. Unless common sense solutions are implemented by everyone concerned in the society, Aging in Place cannot be practiced easily.

    • There are single family houses having the above said facilities. Will their children or the government buy them for seniors?

  14. Pingback: Seniors missing out on important wellness exams : Covering Health

  15. Sadly, I’ve seen a side of the medical industry that I’d only read about…never thought such unfair practices actually existed. And it’s worse in small, rural towns; especially when physicians have never practiced in larger, more progressive cities. None of docs that my parents visit use electronic devices to pull up medical histories and drug interactions. I’m not saying it’s necessary, but none of the docs are connected so they are bound to miss something.

    My dad is almost 75 and my mom is 68…she has heart disease, diabetes and is battling stage IV lung cancer. My dad and my mom have the same physician so the doctor hasn’t focused on my dad’s health. How would he have time? On more than one occasion I’ve had to ‘step in’ and Google and do my own research on certain meds that were prescribed to my mom. I’ve had to call my cousins who are pharmacists to go over prescriptions. Certain meds seem to make her worse and no one seemed to check the drug interactions…as we weened her off of them, she got better. When I questioned her doc, all he said was that he had no idea she was taking all of those meds. duh. He was the one who prescribed them. He then tried to blame doctors in another state that had nothing to do with my mom’s meds (we took her to another state for another opinion).

    i started to think at that point that it was more about copays and kickbacks from medicare. I can’t believe I was that naive to think most docs actually care. I know many of them do, but just as many get caught up in the system and just don’t have the time or the resources. And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, we placed my mom on hospice (at home) and now we’re in limbo. Can’t get any curative care because ‘there’s nothing else they can do’. Sure, I know hospice is supposed to make sure you’re comfortable in the ‘last stages’ of your life. But, does that mean they can’t provide common sense care (like rehab and therapy) because medicare won’t pay for it?? I guess not since a patient would have to come off hospice if there prognosis improves. My mom is a former educator who can no longer make simple phone calls or write down correct dates. Should she just sit and wait to die? Why not allow her to get therapy? Oh yea…medicare won’t pay for it because she’s on hospice…The loopholes in the system and the individuals who continue to ignore illegal practices are just two of the major issues with care for the elderly. Aren’t doctors supposed to care about their patients? How can they show concern and be compassionate when their waiting rooms are full and they know that the more patients they see, the more money they make. Where will it end? Legally, what can we do? SO many issues, so little time.

  16. Pingback: National poll: Low cost, lifesaving services missing from most older patients' health care

  17. Pingback: Only 7% of seniors get key preventive services | Policy Online Media Blog

  18. Pingback: How About Team-Based Care AND Experts | Care And Cost

  19. how cann i get a walk in tub for my husband. he has parkinsons

  20. I just had my “Welcome to Medicare” doctor visit. Oh my God, I was told everything from Medicare spends too much on the dying, to seniors won’t get any doctor to care for them in the next 2 years. There is a real movement on the part of the doctors to get rid of Medicare. My doctor told me that he can’t afford to take the time to see Medicare patients, because he only gets paid 33 cents to the dollar and he can’t run a business on that small amount. When we reach 65, what are we suppose to do, DIE? From what I see coming out of Congress, that could be our reality.

  21. Pingback: Sharing Insights on Health Policy | Health AGEnda

  22. Pingback: Building Your Bandwidth: Communications Resources for Your Work to Improve the Health of Older Adults | The John A. Hartford Foundation's: Learning Center

  23. Pingback: Ensuring Quality Care for Older Adults | Health AGEnda

  24. Pingback: Why We Are Surveying Older People about Their Experiences with the Health Care System – GrantWatch Blog

  25. Pingback: Why We Are Surveying Older People about Their Experiences with the Health Care System | Health AGEnda

  26. “John A. Hartford Foundation Public Poll:

  27. Pingback: A Little Bit Louder Now: How The John A. Hartford Foundation Is Learning to Speak Up for (and with) Older Adults | Health AGEnda

  28. Pingback: "How Does It Feel?" | South Carolina Nursing Home Blog

  29. Pingback: Policy Briefing: Transforming Primary Care – What Medicare Beneficiaries Want and Need from Patient-Centered Medical Homes to Improve Health and Lower Costs | The John A. Hartford Foundation's: Learning Center

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *