Like all states, Delaware is experiencing an increase in the population of older adults, which creates increasing demand for communities to develop plans for “aging in place.” Issues of housing, mobility, and community-based care are coming to the forefront as communities deal with the needs of an aging population. AARP Delaware conducted this survey in 2009 to determine the livability of communities throughout the state for the aging demographic.
AARP Delaware conducted a telephone survey among 1,000 residents, ages 35+ to better understand the needs and desires of the older adult population in order to maintain independence and quality of life as it ages. The survey focused on housing, transportation, community services, and long-term care services. Overall, Delaware residents believe their community is a good place to age and hope to remain in their current house and community for as long as possible. This is especially true among older respondents 50+.
Other report highlights include:
- The most important community characteristics for Delaware residents are safe neighborhoods, well-designed and maintained streets, a wide variety of services to help maintain independence, and good job opportunities.
- The main problems with current communities are heavy traffic, public transportation that is too far, too limited or not available, not enough affordable housing and crime.
- The most important community services for enabling residents to remain in their homes as they age are visiting nurse services, special transportation services, end of life or hospice services, and a service that helps low-income or older person with home repairs.
- Necessary home modifications to help residents age in place are bathroom modifications, cosmetic or minor repairs, and access accommodations.
- Almost all respondents note driving as their main mode of transportation, but 40 percent said they would use the bus more often if it was convenient.
How to Use
As a community’s residents grow older and desire to stay in their current homes and communities for as long as possible, it is important for local government officials and planners to consider policies and programs that will help the older population age successfully and comfortably. This survey provides officials and planners with transportation, housing and long-term care information that residents feel will help them remain in their home and community as they age.