A quarter of survey respondents say they, or a loved one, needed long-term care in the past year, and that most older said the process of selecting long-term care caused anxiety (53%) and frustration (52%).

Long-term care operators, which includes skilled nursing facilities, should work with public and private partners to create a navigation system that benefits everyone in and around the long-term care ecosystem, said Nexus Insights founder Bob Kramer in reaction to a survey of over 1,000 people aged 50 and over that Nexus commissioned.

Few of the respondents said they felt confident (23%), at peace (23%), or happy (14%) while making a choice.

Nexus issued a report last summer showing the need for better long-term care services navigation help. Kramer told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Thursday that a revamped system to help patients and their families find and select long-term care is a must.

“For patients and families, it will alleviate so much of the stress that comes along with a health crisis that results in the need for long-term care,” he said Thursday. “For operators, such a navigation system will connect them more efficiently with the older adults who can benefit from the supports and services they provide.”

Respondents to the recent survey said they found it important to have additional information about the cost of care and options to pay for it (69%) and the different types of long-term care services available (63%).

The poll was conducted between Nov. 11 and 14, 2022. It included 1,014 interviews with a nationally representative sample of adults age 50 and older. This self-funded poll was conducted via Foresight 50+. Funded and operated by NORC at the University of Chicago, Foresight 50+ is a probability-based panel designed to represent the 50-and-older U.S. household population.

Nexus Insights is a think tank advancing the well-being of older adults through innovative models of housing, community and healthcare.