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Financial strains top of mind for older Oregonians

A new survey found older Oregonians are concerned about the cost of living in many aspects of their lives.

The Vital Voices research program from AARP dove into issues affecting Oregonians age 45 and older.

Bandana Shrestha, state director for AARP Oregon, said the cost of health care and housing top the list of topics on people's minds.

"One big takeaway from the survey is that Oregonians are really feeling affordability and the economic pressures in all aspects of their lives," Shrestha reported.

Concern over affording health care expenses increased from 78% in 2020 to 91% in 2023. May is Older Americans Month.

Aging in place is a priority for Oregonians, with 84% of respondents saying it is important to stay in their own homes as they get older.

Shrestha pointed out the economy presents a challenge to this.

"Especially for people who rent, three-quarters experience financial pressure," Shrestha noted. "If there are any rent increases, that would impact their ability to continue to remain at home."

Shrestha added political leaders are an important part of the conversation.

"Whether we are talking about our public policymakers at the state or local level, they have an important role to play in ensuring that we have the service and supports necessary to be able to thrive throughout our lifetime," Shrestha contended.

The survey showed Oregonians are concerned about having access to the caregiving resources they need, and many feel stressed and isolated.


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