Low-income seniors also face challenges. While they cite technology as important to staying in touch with family and friends (81 percent), issues of technology access persist, with 47 percent of low-income seniors reporting cost as a barrier to using more technology, and 48 percent indicating they have trouble understanding how to use technology.

Taking care of health associated with optimistic outlook The 2013 United States of Aging Survey finds that seniors have maintained a positive outlook on their future and the aging process. Eighty-six percent of seniors say they are confident about their ability to maintain a high quality of life, and 60 percent expect their health to stay the same during the next five to 10 years (compared with 53 percent of adults ages 18-59).

The survey also finds that women and African Americans are among the most optimistic about growing older. Of the most optimistic seniors – those surveyed who expect their quality of life in the next five to 10 years to be “much better” or “somewhat better” – 65 percent are women and 18 percent are African American, compared with the national sample comprising 55 percent women and 8 percent African Americans.

Seniors focused on taking care of their health are more optimistic about aging. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of optimistic seniors have set one or more specific goals to manage their health in the past 12 months, compared with 47 percent of the overall senior population.

This and other findings reveal important opportunities to help seniors improve their health. While 65 percent of seniors report having at least two chronic health conditions, less than one in five has received guidance in the past year to develop an action plan for managing their health. Additionally, 26 percent of seniors nationally indicate they exercise less than once a week for 30 minutes or more. Low-income seniors face additional challenges, with 74 percent reporting at least one barrier to managing their health condition, such as lack of energy or money.

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