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Maintaining Independence and Quality of Life: Livable Communities Surveys in Allen County and Indianapolis, Indiana

In an effort to better understand what people age 50 and older need to continue to age in their communities, AARP Indiana commissioned a survey of 50+ residents in Allen County and Indianapolis, Indiana.  

The key survey findings show:  

  • Allen County and Indianapolis 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.  

  • Allen County and Indianapolis residents age 50 and older want to live in communities that are safe, easy to get around, and have the services they need as they get older.  

  • Allen County and Indianapolis 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.  

  • Allen County and Indianapolis residents age 50 and older would most often turn to family or friends when they need to get information on community services.  

  • Gaps in neighborhood features and services were identified by comparing the features and services that Indianapolis residents age 50 and older rated as important and those that they say exist in their community.  
    • The top gaps in neighborhood features are sidewalks, well-designed and maintained streets, a variety of housing options for persons with varying physical abilities, and a wide variety of services to help people maintain their independence.
    • The top gaps in neighborhood services are a service that helps low-income or older persons with home repairs and respite care.  

  • Allen County and Indianapolis residents age 50 and older most often drive themselves to get around their community and are less likely to use public transportation.  

  • Allen County and Indianapolis residents age 50 and older do not think the streets in their community are safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, and support making the streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.

  • Allen County and Indianapolis residents age 50 and older want to get discounts to local area activities such as the local zoo, museums, and theatres.  

Mail surveys were sent to a sample of 3,000 residents from Allen County and Indianapolis, Indiana,  between July 8th and August 12, 2010.  The sample was drawn from AARP’s Prospect Database (PDb), with an additional sample of 6,000 African American 50+ residents in Indianapolis drawn from the database.  For more information, please contact Joanne Binette at jbinette@aarp.org.

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