Growing Old in America: Planning Remains Undone Despite Awareness

Study Released by Health Dialog Shows Fear of Dementia Surpasses Heart Disease and Diabetes

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Many factors indicate that people will increasingly need to rely on their own funds to ensure they get the proper care they may need later in life. However, a new international survey, released today by Health Dialog and commissioned by parent company Bupa, found that one in six people (17%) – millions of people internationally– will not make any preparations for old age.

More specifically, this latest release of Bupa Health Pulse 2011 findings shows that in the United States alone, 40% of people surveyed have done nothing at all to prepare for getting older and only 32% have started to put money aside. Yet, 49% of Americans surveyed acknowledged they will need to tap into their savings or investment plans to fund their care in old age and an additional 14% stated that selling their house is a step they may have to take.

This all comes at a time when dementia is on the rise. Alzheimer’s International estimates that the number of people with the condition is likely to triple over the next fifty years across both developed and developing countries.1 When confronted with concerns about getting older, people often cite chronic conditions such as heart disease, the number one cause of death globally, and cancer. But, the survey shows that 12% of people internationally are worried about developing dementia, more than those who worry about developing diabetes (9%) or even heart disease (11%).

“Despite the fact that many people have real fears about dementia and aging, they are failing to prepare for the potential challenges associated,” said Peter Goldbach, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Health Dialog. “At this critical point, it is imperative to give people the support tools and services that they need to make more informed decisions about their later-in-life preparedness and options.”

Ipsos MORI interviewed 13,373 members of the general public across 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Thailand and the United States) between April 22 and May 23, 2011. All interviews took place through Ipsos online panels.

1 Alzheimer’s International, World Alzheimer Report 2009, p8.

About Health Dialog:
Health Dialog Services Corporation is a leading provider of healthcare analytics and decision support. The firm is a private, wholly-owned subsidiary of Bupa, a global provider of healthcare services. Health Dialog helps healthcare payors improve healthcare quality while reducing overall costs. Company offerings include health coaching for medical decisions, chronic conditions, and wellness; population analytic solutions; and consulting services. Health Dialog helps individuals participate in their own healthcare decisions, develop more effective relationships with their physicians, and live healthier, happier lives. For more information please visit

About Ipsos MORI:
Ipsos MORI is one of the largest and best known research companies in the UK and a key part of the Ipsos Group, a leading global research company. With a direct presence in 60 countries its clients benefit from specialist knowledge drawn from their five global practices: public affairs research, advertising testing and tracking, media evaluation, marketing research and consultancy, customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Health Dialog
Kiran Ganda, 617-406-5239
[email protected]

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