The AARP Iowa State Office commissioned a survey to explore the views of Des Moines/Polk County residents age 50+ on characteristics of an age friendly neighborhood.
Key findings include:
- Des Moines/Polk County residents age 50+ have lived in this area for a long time and are likely to remain there as they get older. In fact, they have lived in this area for an average of 41 years; and 69% say they are not too or not at all likely to move outside their community in the next 10 years.
- Des Moines/Polk County residents age 50+ were asked to give their opinions of their neighborhoods based on housing, transportation, outdoor spaces, public services, older adult resources and services and social activities
- Housing: Respondents agree people in their neighborhood take care of their homes and property and home repair contractors do quality work and are trustworthy.
- Transportation: Respondents agree their neighborhood has easy to read traffic signs, well-maintained streets, sufficient public parking and speed limits are enforced.
- Outdoor spaces: Respondents agree there are enough public parks and that public parks and buildings are well-maintained.
- Public/Private Services: Respondents say their neighborhood has elementary and secondary schools and many also say there is a fire department and a public library.
- Older adult resources and services: Respondents say their neighborhood has seasonal lawn or snow removal and nursing homes and retirement communities.
- Social activities: Respondents say there are places of worship in their neighborhood as well as pharmacies and grocery stores.
- Des Moines/Polk County residents age 50+ say local TV affiliates are the most helpful source for news and information in their neighborhood followed by public television, newspapers and radio.
- Many Des Moines/Polk County residents age 50+ are currently working and plan to keep on working as long as possible. In fact, 45% are employed either full or part-time, and 45% of these survey respondents are extremely or very likely to put off full-time retirement for as long as possible.
These results are based on a mail survey fielded in September 2012 of 3,500 residents. AARP purchased a sample from SSI, Inc. of household addresses in Greater Des Moines/Polk County, Iowa where at the age of head of household is 50 years or older. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303.