Scituate, Massachusetts, Councils on Aging, older residents, needs assessment
Family, Life Course, and Society | Gerontology | Public Administration | Social Welfare
This report describes collaborative efforts undertaken by the Town of Scituate and its Council on Aging (COA), and the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging within the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Beginning in Summer 2014, these organizations partnered to conduct a needs assessment study to investigate the needs, interests, preferences, and opinions of the Town’s older resident population, with respect to living and aging in Scituate. The focus of this report is on two cohorts of Scituate residents—those aged 45 to 59 (referred to as “Boomers”), and the cohort of individuals who are currently aged 60 and over (“Seniors”).
During this assessment, multiple research methods were utilized to create a multidimensional overview of the Town’s older residents that could be used to plan and implement current and future services for older adults in Scituate. We began the process by examining public data from the U.S. Census Bureau to describe basic demographic characteristics, as well as economic traits, disability status, and living situations of older people living in the community. Early in the project we met with the Town Administrator, the Director of the COA, and members of the Steering Committee of the COA developed for this project to discuss their concerns about current and future aging-‐related needs of the Town. We used information gathered through these conversations to develop the main research instrument—a resident survey, administered to a sample of residents from both age cohorts. We also conducted a focus group to obtain insight from stakeholders who work closely with populations who are at high risk of experiencing unmet need in the community. We conducted four key informant interviews to gain input from leaders in the community who have broad experience with Scituate residents, including older adults. Finally, we conducted a comparison of Senior Centers in five municipalities to assess how needs of older adults are met in other communities. Collectively, the contents of this report are intended to inform the Town of Scituate, its COA, other offices within the Town that have a stake in helping to secure the well-‐being of Scituate’s residents, and organizations that provide services to older people throughout the Town and region. Additionally, those who advocate for older residents and community members at large will find use for the information provided within this report.
Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. http://scholarworks.umb.edu/engage
Mutchler, Jan; Gleason, Hayley; Somerville, Ceara; Khaniyan, Maryam; and Steinman, Bernard A., "Aging in Scituate: An Assessment of Services and Programs for Our Community" (2015). Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging Publications. 7.