AFS Blog

AFS Community Report Findings: Communication & Information

Posted on March 01, 2017 | by Kathy Black
AFS Community Report Findings: Communication & Information

Age-Friendly Sarasota recently completed an assessment of nearly 1,200 Sarasota County residents’ aspirations regarding community features across eight domains of livability.  Findings were analyzed by age groups including Boomers (age 50-69 at the time of the study) and non-Boomer Elders (age 70+). This blog series will review key highlights from each of the domains. Further information about the AFS Community Report and more details about the findings can be found at: www.AgeFriendlySarasota.org.

Age-friendly communities make sure that information about community events or important services is both readily accessible and in formats that are appropriate for persons of all ages.

Age-friendly communities recognize the diversity of needs regarding information and provide multiple sources to connect people with the information they need to best live their lives and meet their needs.

According to the Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report:

Information on resources for older adults and access to centralized sources of community information represent the top communication and information features reported by Sarasota County residents.  

  • Compared to non-Boomer Elders, Boomers place a greater importance on feeling that their voice is heard as a top feature (83% vs. 74%), free access to the internet (74% vs. 66%), and information about legal and financial planning (79% vs. 72%).
  • Between about one out of ten to one out of four report uncertainty about the importance of community and information features (8% – 23%).

Besides free access to computers at the libraries, senior center, or governmental locations, most Sarasota County residents are uncertain about the availability of communication and informational sources.   

  • About one out of four Sarasota County residents report the absence of access to community information in a central source, an automated community source that it is easy to understand, clearly displayed information, and that their voice isn’t heard (20% to 28%).
  • About one in five residents report the absence of displayed information with large lettering and community information delivered in person to people who are homebound (16% – 19%).
  • With the exception of free access and information on resources and legal and financial resources, about half to more than two-thirds report uncertainly about the communication and informational features (47% 72%).

Sarasota County residents report the importance of obtaining information on a range of interests via a variety of sources and mediums with many considerations to better communicate information. 

  • Residents report that accessing information is beneficial for learning about a variety of issues ranging from simple notifications of local happenings to serious quality of life matters including housing options, aging in place, transportation, health care, social and civic opportunities, and legal issues.
  • Residents report a wide range of informational sources and formats including governmental, business and nonprofit sites, groups and personal conversations, workshops, lectures, newsletters, newspapers, computers, and social media.
  • Despite the vast array of sources and formats, residents report multiple limitations including the lack of knowing how to access complete and reliable sources of information and multiple issues regarding the use of computers including disinterest, technological skills, and Wi-Fi access.

@AgeFriendlySRQ … might want to think about keeping this domain at the top of the list. As you can see in this #AgeFriendly pic, the Boomers are seriously enjoying their technology (wink wink)!


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