Linn County is not only growing but also aging. In 2008, 12.8 percent of Linn County residents were 65 years of age or older, and a majority of these aging residents feel that it is very or extremely important to age in place as long as possible. The Cedar Rapids Area Chapter of AARP conducted this study in hopes of determining the livability issues of Linn County, Iowa residents with a focus on health, transportation, housing, and leisure and recreation.
This study looked at the awareness of livability features for older adults in the Linn County area, such as services available in the community and transportation options, and whether these features were being utilized. Three thousand residents age 50+ were given one of four surveys (health and wellness, housing, transportation, or leisure and recreation), and 960 surveys were returned. Overall, Linn Country residents are happy with their community and feel that they can get around it.
Key findings in each area include:
- A majority of respondents hope to receive long-term care services at home, ideally from friends and family members, home care aides, or a combination of the two.
- Top resources of importance to Linn County residents are a hospital in the community, accessible information on health, and variety of in-home care services. While residents believe that Linn County has enough doctors and hospitals, fewer believe that it has services that will allow them to age in place.
- Linn County residents are active and typically drive themselves where they need to go. Most important transportation features when driving are proper road marking, sign visibility, and well designed/maintained streets.
- Linn Country residents know that public transportation is available, but 37 percent say that they will not use it, and 27 percent said they would if there were more convenient drop off/pick up locations.
- Important community services/features to the aging population include snow removal, transportation services for the elderly and lighted/timed crosswalks.
- Linn County residents are least aware of community services that may help them maintain independence, housing options for different abilities, affordable housing options, and dependable public transportation.
How to Use
This study highlighted key thoughts and issues of the aging population in Linn Country around livability features and services. Local government officials can use this information to support planning and investment efforts.