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More Than a Neighborhood: A Survey of Service Needs and Interest in a Community Village Among Lansing, Michigan Residents Age 45+

Americans are aging and living longer. Between 2006 and 2030, the U.S. population of adults aged 65+ will nearly double from 37 million to 71.5 million. The Social Security Administration estimates that today a 45 year old adult has an average life expectancy of 34 additional years.    In 2010, one in three Lansing adults (33% or 38,200 residents) was age 45 years or older.  This demographic trend of living longer presents major challenges for meeting the needs of the older population who overwhelmingly prefer to receive services and supports within their homes or communities. A Village—a consumer-driven, person centered approach to aging in place that promotes community and independence—offers an alternative to institutional care.

AARP Michigan and the NorthWest Initiative are dedicating time and resources to exploring the current and future needs of Lansing residents in relation to the feasibility of offering Village-type services in Lansing. AARP Michigan and the NorthWest Initiative commissioned a mail survey of Lansing residents to help map out current and future personal needs as well as interest in a Lansing Village in order to provide a direction for the future.

Survey findings show:

  • The Lansing community would benefit from a Village for several reasons.
    • Almost all respondents (93%) are satisfied with the Lansing area as a place to live.
    • Three in four (74%) would like to remain in the Lansing community for as long as possible.
    • About half say they enjoy the safety of the community (52%) and want to stay near their family (47%) and friends (46%) in Lansing.  
  • Two of five (40%) respondents say they need major home repairs in order to age in place.
  • Lansing residents were asked about 60 types of needs now and in the future related to Information and Referrals, Community Building, and Concierge Assistance to which a Village could provide assistance. Eight of the top ten needs related to Information and Referral.
  • The top identified current and future needs were referrals for medical or dental treatment (59%), referrals for professional home maintenance services (53%), and referrals for skilled home health care aides (52%).
  • When asked to rank in order of importance the eight types of services residents would  need now and in the future, Home Maintenance, Health Assistance, and Daily Living Services were the top three ranked types of services.
  • About half (48%) of all respondents are extremely, very, or somewhat interested in joining a Village in the Northwest Lansing area. One in five are extremely (8%) or very (10%) interested, while an additional 30% are somewhat interested in joining a Village.
  • Middle-age Boomers, caregivers, people with disabilities, and those with a moderate income have the greatest interest in joining a Village.
    • Age (age 45-54: 47%; age 55-64: 56%; age 65+:38%)
    • Provided care in the last 12 months (Yes 57%; No 40%)
    • Disability: 48%; No Disability: 43%).
    • Income ($40,000 or less: 44%: $40-75,000: 51%; $75,000 or more: 53%)
  • Residents who are strongly interested in joining a Village are willing to pay for services (Extremely/Very Interested: 32%; Not Very/ Not at all Interested: 1%).
  • Residents strongly interested in joining a Village would also be interested in joining a time bank (Extremely/Very/ interested: 44%; Not very/Not at all interested: 7%).
  • Messaging and tactics should be targeted to prospective members highlighting either a personal message related to personal assistance and “having a person in your corner” or a professional message related to simplicity, one-stop shopping, and “making your life easier.”

The mail survey was conducted June 22nd through July 27th of 7,392 residents in Lansing, Michigan age 45 and older, living in ZIP codes 48906, 48933 and 48915.  For more information, contact Brittne Nelson at 202-434-6307.

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