I’m forwarding an email from the City summarizing the Aging in Place survey. Links to the report are also at the end of this email. I’m not surprised that the opening lines of the summery note that Cantabrigians 55+ are a unique, wealthy and well-educated crowd. My guess is that a place like Cambridge, especially when focusing on people reachable via the street listing and reverse phone lookup, is going to be self-selected for those who have had relatively successful earlier lives. And, like everyone else, people 55+ are worried about what the future holds for them. Health, financial concerns and accessibility top the list of reasons people might wind up moving. Overall, there is a lot of interesting information in this survey, though I would be like more clareity about which age groups felt certain ways more clearly. For example, when I’m 55 I’ll still have a kid in high school and my thoughts about aging will, I am sure, be not the same as when I’m 75, but it’s not clear how some of those changes are reflected in the survey data. Also, I am not sure what it means that the survey population was 86% white (where “most” of one’s ancestors came from) but the City’s demographic info puts the overall City at only about 67% white (demographic info available under facts at: http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD.aspx). We’ll probably have a Council Roundtable or a subcommittee meeting to discuss this survey in greater detail, but in any event I think you’ll enjoy spending a few minutes working your way through it.
Let me know what you think.
(Posted to PSNA by jhh on behalf of Ellen Kokinda)
Stuart Dash, Director of Community Planning and I would like to thank Porter Square residents who recently participated in our Aging in Cambridge: Housing Survey for Residents 55+. As a follow up, we would like to inform you that the phone survey is complete [see attached]. In addition to working with a phone survey company, the Community Development Department conducted a supplemental web survey [also attached]. Between the statistically significant phone survey and the web survey we have heard from over 530 Cambridge residents 55+ (400 phone, 138 web).
The surveys addressed issues including residents’ current living situations, considerations for future moves, housing preferences, and demographic information. Overall, respondents expressed a level of comfort with their existing housing, yet results show residents’ uncertainty about their future health, mobility, and in some instances their financial security.
Between the phone survey and the web survey there are notable differences between each sample. The phone survey was conducted by a professional survey company using street listing data from voting records, thus it provides the most accurate sample of the Cambridge population. Keep in mind for the web survey that the respondents are self-selected by virtue of being on neighborhood organizations and city listservs including the Mayor’s Office, the Community Development Department, and divisions of the Department of Human Service Programs. For this reason, the web survey does not represent the preferences and demographics of all Cambridge residents 55+, but it does engage residents who are already involved with current local issues and have a vested interest in the aging in community planning process.