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Maintaining Independence and Quality of Life: A Livable Community Survey in Crossville Tennessee

AARP defines a livable community as one that allows people to maintain their independence and quality of life as they age.  Specific aspects of a livable community include adequate mobility options; supportive community features and services that allow residents to maintain their independence and enjoy an engaging civic and social life; and affordable and appropriate housing.

In an effort to better understand what people age 50 and older need to continue to age in their communities, AARP Tennessee commissioned a mail survey of residents age 50 and older in Crossville, Tennessee.  

The key survey findings show:  

  • Crossville residents age 50 and older regard their community as a good place for older people to live, and they want to remain in their community as they age.  Seventy-one percent say their community is an excellent or very good place for older people to live.  Seventy-three percent say it is important for them to stay in their community for as long as possible, and more than 80 percent believe it is important to stay in their own home for as long as possible.  
  • Crossville residents age 50 and older want to live in communities that are safe, easy to get around, and have the services they need.  Ninety-six percent say having safe neighborhoods is an extremely or very important feature in their community.  Eighty-two percent say having well-designed and maintained streets are important.  
  • Crossville residents age 50 and older want to live in a community where services such as home health aides or visiting nurses, home repair, and transportation are readily available.  Eighty-three percent say having home health aides or visiting nurses is extremely or very important.  
  • Crossville residents age 50 and older would most often turn to family or friends when they need to get information on community services.  
  • The top gaps in neighborhood features are: dependable public transport, wide variety of services to help them maintain their independence, sidewalks, having a grocery and drug store within a half mile of their home, walking or bike trails within a half mile of their home and well-designed and maintained streets.
  • The top gaps in neighborhood services are: a service that helps low-income or older persons with home repairs and congregate meals.  
  • Crossville residents age 50 and older most often drive themselves to get around their community and are not likely to use public transportation.  

A sample of 1500 residents was drawn from a nationwide sampling database (SSI) which contains a compiled list of individuals ages 40+ in the United States.  The survey was fielded from November 17th through December 12th 2011.  For more information, contact Aisha Bonner at 202-434-3531.

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