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Maintaining Independence and Quality of Life: A Livable Community Survey In Blount County, 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; along with 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 Blount County, Tennessee.  

The key survey findings show: 

  • Blount County 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. 
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older want to live in communities that are safe, have well run recreation facilities, are easy to get around, and have the services they need.    
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older want to live in a community where services such as home health aides or visiting nurses, assistance with seasonal work, and help with home repair are readily available. 
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older would most often turn to family or friends when they need to get information on community services. 
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older most often drive themselves to get around their community and are not likely to use public transportation. 
  • Gaps in neighborhood features and services were identified by comparing the features and services that Blount County residents age 50 and older rated as important and those that they say exist in their community. 
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older are divided on the safety of the streets in their community for bicyclists and pedestrians. 
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older are likely to have a grandchild, some of whom they have care for day to day.   
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older want to get discounts to local area activities. 
  • Blount County residents age 50 and older are using the internet to access their email, locate community events, and shop.  

A sample of 7,500 Blount County residents was drawn from a nationwide sampling database which contains a compiled list of individuals in the United States.  The survey was fielded from September 28 through November 18, 2011.    For more information, contact Aisha Bonner at

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