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DHS News June 2012 | PDF Icon DHS News June 2012

Area Agency on Aging Surveys Community Needs

The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) recently completed its first entirely online consumer survey. The survey was conducted to allow older adults, caregivers and the general public the opportunity to provide direct input for the Agency’s four-year plan. 

“We find that more older adults are using online resources, and felt using an online survey was a more efficient way of collecting and analyzing data,” said Ken Kornick, AAA Planning Officer, who designed the survey. “This year, we received 300 responses from both consumers and caregivers, and were able to learn a great deal about aging consumers in Allegheny County.”
Findings from the 19-question survey include:

  • Respondents rely on web sites (51%) and printed material (34%) the most for information. (This result may be related to the online nature of the survey.)
  • Recorded phone “menus” (47%) and not knowing where to go or whom to call (43%) are the greatest barriers to obtaining information.
  • Home upkeep (47%), expenses (33%), health problems (29%) and transportation (26%) were listed as barriers the respondents faced in continuing to live in their own home. More than a quarter of respondents (27%) have no problems at all.
  • Respondents stay healthy by exercising (63%), eating well (60%), regularly visiting a doctor (53%), being involved in social activities (51%) and doing mental exercises (50%).
  • 71% of respondents have a caregiver, most often a son or daughter. 63% of respondents are caregivers themselves.
  • The greatest caregiver needs are help with daily tasks and easy to use, reliable information on caregiving.

Information gathered through the survey will be included in the AAA’s 2012-2016 four-year plan, which will be submitted to the state at the end of June. View or download a copy of the plan.

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