Every ten years since 1970, the Amherst COA has conducted a survey to get a snapshot of how older residents are doing in order to serve them better and to anticipate their needs in future planning. The 735 respondents for the 2010 survey included a midlife sample of folks 50-59 in addition to those 60+. This is important as the Department of Elder Affairs projects a 77.5% increase in women 60+ and a 81.6% increase in men 60+ in Amherst when comparing the 2000 census to the 2020 census.
The Council on Aging is extremely grateful to the Study Director, Dr. Randall Stokes of the Social and Demographic Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, for his pro bono work and to his assistant, Anna Curtis. A big thank you also to the ad hoc committee created to help determine the contents of the questionnaire. This committee, who worked well over a year on this project, consisted of Joel Gordon, Shirley Packard, Jan Dizard, Sandra Lapollo, and Rosemary Kofler. Senior Center Director, Nancy Pagano, served as consultant.
A list of key points can be found on pages 36-38 of the survey. The COA remains committed to its charge of identifying and advocating for the needs of the aging population. This survey will be invaluable in this endeavor.