The AARP District of Columbia State Office commissioned a survey to explore the views of its volunteers on characteristics of an age friendly community. This mail survey fielded in January 2013 finds that AARP volunteers are long-time residents of their current neighborhoods and want to remain there. Volunteers want to live in neighborhoods that are safe, affordable and have features and services that allow them to stay there as they age.
- AARP District of Columbia volunteers have lived in their neighborhood for a long time and want to remain there as they get older. 27% have lived in their neighborhood for over 40 years, 30% have lived there between 26 and 40 years, and another 25% have lived there between 11 and 25 years. 82% say it is important for them to stay in their neighborhood for as long as possible.
- AARP District of Columbia volunteers want to live in neighborhoods that are safe, easy to get around and have opportunities for keeping fit. 99% say having police protection is an extremely or very important neighborhood feature. 92% say having public or private transportation services is extremely or very important.
- Gaps in neighborhood features, services and activities were identified by comparing the features, services and activities that AARP District of Columbia volunteers rated as important and those that they say exist in their neighborhood. The top gaps in neighborhood features are a variety of housing options for persons with different physical abilities and an adequate supply of affordable housing. The top gaps in neighborhood services are a service that helps low-income or older persons with home repairs and respite care opportunities.
- AARP District of Columbia volunteers drive themselves, use public transportation or walk to get where they want to go in their neighborhood. 77% drive, 76% use public transportation, and 69% walk to get around their neighborhood
- AARP District of Columbia volunteers vary in terms of their satisfaction with the safety of the streets in their neighborhood for pedestrians and bicyclists. 55% say they are extremely or very satisfied with the safety of the streets in their neighborhood for pedestrians while 45% are only somewhat, not very or not at all satisfied with street safety. 34% say they are extremely or very satisfied with the safety of the streets in their neighborhood for bicyclists while 55% are only somewhat, not very or not at all satisfied with street safety.
- AARP District of Columbia volunteers would support a policy to ensure that their neighborhood roads are designed for all users. 75% say they would be extremely or very likely to support a policy that ensures roads will be designed for all users including drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and public transportation users.
These results are based on a mail survey fielded January 18 to February 8, 2013 of 605 AARP volunteers for the District of Columbia State Office. This report is based only on the surveys received by 181 AARP volunteers who currently live in the District of Columbia. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303.