In 2008, 11 percent of Buffalo, New York residents were 65+, and 41 percent of these residents had a disability. With about half of Buffalo residents living in the same home since 1995 and a majority of Buffalo AARP members age 50+ saying they would like to remain in their community for as long as possible, AARP New York organized this study to determine the livability of this community for the aging population.
AARP New York conducted a survey of AARP members age 50+ living in Buffalo to determine their overall satisfaction with the community, along with community concerns, housing and transportation issues, and important community features and services. Overall, about two in three AARP Buffalo members surveyed are extremely or very satisfied with their community.
Other report highlights include:
- Buffalo AARP members who were surveyed believe that too few traffic lights and proximity of desired services are not a problem in their community. However, respondents do feel that crime, heavy traffic and street/sidewalk repairs are a problem.
- One-quarter of Buffalo members say their current residence is in need of a repair in order for them to age in place, and a majority of respondents would support a law that would encourage builders to use Universal Design standards.
- Most of respondents drive to get around their neighborhoods. Few members use public transportation; however, a majority say there is public transportation available in their community.
- The most important community feature is overwhelmingly safe neighborhoods, and the most important community services are hospice, special transportation, home repairs and home health mentoring services.
- The biggest gaps identified between what is important to respondents and what exists in their community are home repair services, good job opportunities, chore services, ways to connect older and younger people, outdoor maintenance services, and a variety of housing options for persons with different physical abilities.
How to Use
The survey provides local officials and planners with information that can help when determining the features and services that are important for an aging population in order to make a community more livable. It also provides insight on areas of satisfaction/dissatisfaction and gaps in current community planning efforts. Additionally, this survey serves as a great resource and case study for other communities looking to determine the livability needs of an aging population.