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Conducting Aging Well Resident Surveys

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This toolkit gives local governments a template and guide for how to develop a survey that provides detailed quantitative information about what baby boomers need and want from the community.

This information can, in turn, serve as a key guidepost for future policy and planning efforts. A survey uses a questionnaire format to obtain quantitative information from a specific population, or group of people. Survey questions are closed-ended and measurable. Survey results are typically expressed in numbers or percentages. Unlike a focus group or public forum, an aging well resident survey will not produce in-depth, qualitative information about how residents feel about particular issues, nor will it allow residents to voice opinions and thoughts on broad topics and issues.

A survey will, however, provide detailed information about what older adults need and/or want from the community. Communities may conduct a survey prior to holding a public forum or focus group. Or communities may convene a public forum and then decide to conduct a resident survey based on community-wide feedback. Or a resident survey may be the first step a community takes, providing a core foundation on which to build a larger planning and community development process.

Before you conduct an aging well public forum, it is strongly recommend that you review the first part of the toolkit, Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action.