As we live our lives, many of us form strong opinions about what we like and dislike, and often are willing to express those opinions when asked. Our elected officials and policy makers want to hear our opinions before they make important decisions that affect us. As advisors about senior issues, we often gather data by way of surveys and present it to those decision makers when they need to know what older adults want them to do.
Last year at Senior Fest in September 2017, we did a survey of attendees and received close to 300 responses. We asked, “How Age Friendly is my community today?” Following are some of the questions and the results:
- How important is it or you to live on your own as you age? 92% said it is extremely or very important.
- How important is it for you to be in touch or visit with others? 86% said it was extremely or very important.
- Rate your community as a good place to live. 75% said it was excellent or very good.
- Rate your ability to live independently. 81% said it was excellent or very good. Which services are important to have in the community as you age? Most people chose affordable health care (85%), affordable housing (77%), and maintained/safe parks, sidewalks and trails (75%) as the most important services to have in our community.
Recently the City of Reno qualified to become a Certified 3-STAR Community which is a national rating system that measures best practices in environmental stewardship, economic prosperity and social equity. Read the entire “Reno Resilience: 2017 Sustainability Report” at https://www.reno.gov/home /showdocument?id=73671. Reno is striving to move up to a 4-STAR Community rating by continuing to improve on its goals and objectives. We are very interested in helping to improve the “Aging in the Community” category which encourages planning for an aging population with supportive neighborhoods and networks, accessible and inclusive services and assistance for older adults who want to stay in their current home and community. Reno only received a 34% rating in this important category.