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Fairfax County conducts survey of older adults, seeking input on future services

Fairfax County is mailing out a survey to learn about older adults’ needs and how they use county services (via Fairfax County)

Fairfax County is updating its aging plan, gathering public input to address key issues for older adults.

The county started sending out postcards last month to notify a random sample of households chosen to participate in its Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults, which was last conducted in 2019.

Department of Family Services spokesperson Kathleen Thomas says the survey asks questions about older residents’ personal habits and opinions on a variety of topics:

The survey will ask information about the lifestyles of older adults, including opportunities to work, socialize and volunteer, as well as issues they face, such as retirement, housing, and caregiving, and their use of community services like public transportation and senior centers. Questions also ask about the quality of services such as parks and infrastructure, and opportunities for health and wellness, education, and the arts in the community.

Research firm Polco is conducting the survey. For those who don’t receive it, there will be a chance to provide feedback through community forums in coming months.

The results will help the county develop a SHAPE the Future of Aging Plan, which stands for:

  • Services for Older Adults & Family Caregivers
  • Housing & Neighborhood Supports
  • Access to Mobility Options
  • Personal Well-Being
  • Economic Stability and Planning

Fairfax County is currently home to 398,982 residents aged 50 and older. The long-term strategic plan will guide how the county allocates resources for services and programs that benefit that population and make the community a friendlier and more livable place for them.

The SHAPE plan has been in the works since at least September 2019 to succeed a 50+ Community Action Plan that the county adopted in 2014 for a five-year term.

According to the county website, staff will start analyzing the results of the survey this spring or summer, with a presentation to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Older Adults Committee coming in the fall.

The Board of Supervisors is currently expected to approve the SHAPE plan in 2023.

Photo via Fairfax County

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