Aging in Place Survey Results
December 9, 2015
A brief survey was conducted to assess gaps in services, priorities, and willingness to pay for services for aging in place in The Woodlands. The purpose is to create a Village Network to provide services that can help seniors stay in their homes with confidence and peace of mind as long as possible.
Preliminary results from 50 respondents (all over age 50) from eight villages indicate that there is strong support for such a network. Over 95% indicated that they would participate (63%) or would potentially participate (32%) in a village network to increase their ability to age in place.
Respondents were primarily financially sound, with 80% stating that finances were adequate or better. Only 4% indicated that their finances were strained, 8% barely adequate, and 8% chose not to answer.
Major barriers for aging in place were identified as: lack of transportation options (45%), lack of information regarding available services (41%), home maintenance and cleaning (41%), lack of family in the area (37%), and high costs of personal services (24%). Other barriers identified included: lack of social interaction (14%), current home configuration (12%), completing required forms and paperwork (e.g., filing taxes, selecting health insurance provider) (10%), self-care (6%), and other (7%).
The services that respondents identified as ones they would most likely use were: a list of vetted service providers with reasonable pricing (88%), easily accessible information regarding available services and how to access the services (61%), low cost transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and community events (43%), community social events (41%), assistance with technology (e.g., setting up computer internet router) (31%), daily communication network (phone calls, emails or texts) (29%), and assistance navigating bureaucratic red tape (27%). Other services identified included: low cost assistance with pet care (18%), identifying changes in home configuration needed to allow you to age in place (16%), low cost assistance with paperwork requirements (14%), financial assistance (based on income eligibility requirements) (10%), and other (16%).
The majority of respondents wish to obtain information regarding aging in place services through a website (63%) or a “one-stop” phone number (12%), with many having no preference (18%).
Most respondents plan to use resources and services (70%). However, many respondents were also willing to volunteer services, including: provide outreach support to seniors (e.g., answer support help line or make a daily contact call) (57%), provide information support to seniors (e.g., help find information regarding services or costs (48%), provide problem solving and advocacy for seniors (46%), provide administrative support for network operations (37%), assistance with pets (33%), provide assistance to seniors in filling out forms and submitting them (30%), provide technical support to seniors (e.g., help resolve technical issues) (26%), and provide social support to seniors (e.g., organize events, social visits (24%).
A combination of payment for services and use of a time bank was the preference of most respondents (48%), with 34% of the respondents indicating that they would prefer to simply pay for individual services needed. The majority (88%) of the respondents were willing to pay for membership in a village network, with 74% willing to pay $100 or more annually.