Fulton County State of Seniors survey findings unveiled | News
Recommendations call for enhanced support of daily activities, transportation, caregiving, information assistance, and planning as well as affordable housing for seniors
ATLANTA -- The Fulton County State of Seniors Survey findings summary cites the need for the strengthening of collaborative efforts among government and all sectors of the community to support the needs of a growing senior population. The A. L Burruss Institute of Public Service and Research conducted the survey in May 2012 on behalf of the County. With a projection that over 30 percent of Fulton County’s population will be over 65 within the next two decades, the survey found that the provision of more resources to support aging citizens would be vital.
Transportation was the most frequently reported need. Ninety percent of individuals 55 and under reported that their relative(s) relied on other people for transportation. Additionally, 65 percent of responders rated the need for transportation at the highest level of priority for improving the quality of life of seniors. The most frequently cited transportation needs involved medical appointments and grocery shopping.
Three key findings involving daily activities included seniors having trouble with routine housework, grocery shopping and walking as well as activity restrictions related to health, cost, accessibility to services and crime. Additionally, financial difficulties often resulted in the need for employment and re-entry into the workforce. Recommendations to support daily activities included more of a focus on home care and community support services to enable seniors to age-in-place and continue to live healthy, independent lives.
Another survey category focused on age discrimination and elder abuse. Thirty-five percent of survey responders experienced age discrimination and another 35 percent did not know whom to contact to report elder abuse. Another 28 percent of individuals 54 years old and under observed age discrimination with most citing access to employment as the most frequent form of discrimination. Survey recommendations cited the need to raise awareness of elder abuse and age discrimination and initiation of professional training, advocacy and service coordination.
Concerning caregiving, 10 percent of survey responders reported raising grandchildren or children of other family members. In addition, 61 percent of service providers reported observing “sandwich generation” adults caring for both children and aging family members. Recommendations focused on the need for health and social services for care recipients and respite for caregivers.
Other issues of concern included the need for information, assistance and planning. Senior needs included legal aid, resources for meeting financial needs that assist in the purchase of food, clothing and affordable housing. Findings also pointed to the need for retirement planning support and education.
The report includes findings from four surveys of Fulton County residents and one survey of Fulton County Senior Service Providers. Data collection strategies consisted of a Random Digit Dial telephone survey, online surveys and a paper and pencil survey. Survey questions included but were not limited to demographics, health, housing caregiving mental health, independent living and access to community services. Survey participants verified their residency and ages.
For more information, visit www.fultoncountyga.gov or call 404-613-7944.