State seeks seniors to participate in survey

Mar. 13—The New York State Office for the Aging is asking state residents 60 and older to answer a newly launched statewide Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults.

According to a media release, NYSOFA is conducting the survey in partnership with the Association on Aging in New York and the research firm Polco. It is the first survey of its kind to be conducted statewide in New York.

Initial feedback had previously been collected through a randomly selected sample of residents who received a printed survey by mail from NYSOFA. In the second phase of the survey, all community members age 60 and older "are encouraged to share their input by completing the survey online," the release said. The survey will close on March 30, 2023.

NYSOFA Director Greg Olsen said, "Older adults are important to their families, communities, and the state's economy. Our goal is to help them age successfully and keep their enormous contributions in New York State. We need older adults to provide us with feedback as we build on New York's promise as the first age-friendly state in the nation."

AgingNY Executive Director Becky Preve said, "Data is imperative in the creation and implementation of policy and funding needs of older New Yorkers. This survey provides an opportunity for federal, state, and local governments to hear directly from residents on current and future needs to support the older population. We strongly encourage participation in this free, anonymous survey, as the results will be paramount in planning for the future."

The survey's results will inform the priorities of NYSOFA as it prepares its four-year plan to the federal government, the release said. NYSOFA's four-year plan guides service delivery and policy development for aging services that support New York's 4.6 million older adults.

New York is also developing a comprehensive Master Plan for Aging. The MPA "is designed to ensure that older adults and individuals of all ages can live healthy, fulfilling lives while aging with dignity and independence," the release said. While NYSOFA's Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults is a separate initiative from the MPA process, the survey results may also provide further information to support the goals of the Master Plan for Aging.

The Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults is being conducted in partnership with Polco, an online civic engagement platform. It is anonymous and takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The survey is available in six languages by clicking the language options at the top of the survey page.

The survey covers the following areas:

—Overall community quality — assessing the community as a place to live and retire, whether individuals recommend the community to others, and residential stability.

—Community and belonging — assessing views about community safety, the belief that older residents are valued in the community, and concerns about crime victimization and abuse.

—Community information — assessing the availability of information about older adult resources and financial or legal services.

—Productive activities — assessing civic engagement, such as volunteering, voting, social engagement, social and religious activities, recreation, personal enrichment, caregiving, and economic contributions.

—Health and wellness — physical health, physical fitness, mental health, emotional wellbeing, quality of life, health care, independent living, activities of daily living, and hospitalizations.

—Community design and land use — housing variety and availability, ease of travel (by car, foot, and bus), access to daily needs, overall quality of life.