AFS Blog

AFS Community Report Findings: Community Supports & Health Services

Posted on October 31, 2016 | by Kathy Black
AFS Community Report Findings: Community Supports & Health Services

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 Age-Friendly Sarasota Community Report and more details about the findings can be found at www.AgeFriendlySarasota.org.

Good mental and physical health contributes to the quality of life and age-friendliness.

We know that access to community-related services that support physical or mental well-being and the availability of health promotion or awareness services that promote and support healthy behaviors and life choices foster healthy aging and well-being throughout the lifespan.

Our community-based health and social services should aim to meet our changing needs with age —including caregiver assistance — so that people can be supported throughout their lives and live as fully as possible.

The majority of Sarasota County residents report that well-maintained hospitals and health care facilities, respectful healthcare staff, professionals trained in aging, and affordable home care providers are the most important community supports and health services features. 

 

  • Boomers place a greater importance on all community and health support features with the greatest differences in health promotion classes (67% to 57%) and fitness activities specifically for older adults (88% vs. 80%).

 

There is variability regarding the presence of community supports and health services features. 

 

  • Compared to Boomers, non-Boomer Elders report a greater existence of all community supports and health features with the exception of health classes.

 

 

  • Boomers report greater uncertainty regarding most features, ranging from about one of ten to nearly one out of four (24%) on affordable home care providers.

 

 

  • About two or more out of ten of all residents report the absence of fitness activities for seniors (18% - 23%), nearly a quarter report the lack of health classes (23% - 24%), and upwards of more than half report that home-delivered medicines, groceries, and affordable home providers do not exist

 

Sarasota County residents report varied experiences including both good medical services with some limitations and helpful supports that assist aging at home — although greater efforts to age in place would be beneficial.   

Residents identified:

 

  • Both positive health care amenities including doctors, facilities, and services, as well as accessibility concerns due to location, insurance coverage, lack of transportation, or affordability

 

 

  • The lack of geriatric providers and the lack of expert knowledge on aging-related issues

 

 

  • A range of supports that assist living at home including helpful neighbors, organizations, churches, supports groups and technology

 

 

  • Many issues about living at home, including how to manage home care assistants, behavioral management of persons being cared for at home, and how to best respond to falls and liability when responding to people who have fallen.

 


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