AARP defines a livable community as one that allows people to maintain their independence and quality of life as they age. Specific aspects of a livable community include adequate mobility options; supportive community features and services that allow residents to maintain their independence and enjoy an engaging civic and social life; and affordable and appropriate housing.
In an effort to better understand what people age 50 and older need to continue to age in their communities, AARP Tennessee commissioned a mail survey of residents age 50 and older in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The key survey findings show:
- Murfreesboro 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. Sixty-seven percent say their community is an excellent or very good place for older people to live. Sixty-eight percent say it is important for them to stay in their community for as long as possible, and more than 80 percent believe it is important to stay in their own home for as long as possible.
- Murfreesboro residents age 50 and older want to live in communities that are safe, easy to get around and have the services they need. Ninety-seven percent say having safe neighborhoods is an extremely or very important feature in their community. Ninety percent say having well-designed and maintained streets are important.
- Murfreesboro 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. Eighty-one percent say having home health aides or visiting nurses is extremely or very important.
- Murfreesboro residents age 50 and older say they would turn to family or friends when they need to get information on community services.
- The top gaps in neighborhood features are: sidewalks, dependable public transportation, a wide variety of services to help people maintain their independence, and walking or bike trails within a half mile of your home.
- The top gaps in neighborhood services are: a service that help low-income or older persons with home repairs and respite care.
- Murfreesboro residents age 50 and older most often drive themselves to get around their community and are less likely to use public transportation.
A sample of 1,500 residents was drawn from a nationwide sampling database (SSI) which contains a compiled list of individuals ages 40+ in the United States. The survey was fielded from November 17th through December 12th 2011. For more information, contact Aisha Bonner at 202-434-3531.