Holliston, Massachusetts, needs assessment, older residents
This report describes research undertaken by the Center for Social & Demographic Research on Aging (CSDRA) within the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, on behalf of the Holliston Council on Aging (COA). The goals of this project were to investigate the needs, interests, preferences, and opinions of Holliston’s residents age 55 or older by engaging the community regarding their experiences and needs relevant to the COA’s objective to identify and serve the needs of all Holliston citizens 55 and older. The contents of this report are meant to inform the Town of Holliston, the Holliston COA, Senior Center, and organizations that work with and on behalf of older residents of Holliston for the purposes of COA mission fulfillment alongside planning and coordination of services for current and future needs of residents. The report will also help to build awareness about issues facing Holliston among community members at large.
The population of Holliston is comprised of about one quarter older adults (24%); and an additional 16% age 50-59 are expected to move into this demographic within the next few years. This central, overarching observation—that the older population of Holliston is already large and will continue to expand—makes clear the importance of considering how well features of the Town, the services and amenities available, and virtually every aspect of the community align with the age demographic moving forward.
In preparing for this demographic shift, the Holliston Council on Aging and the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at the University of Massachusetts Boston partnered to conduct a study to investigate the needs, interests, preferences, and opinions of the Town’s residents age 55 and older. As part of this assessment, we conducted interviews and focus groups to hear from Holliston leadership, key stakeholders in the community, and specific cohorts of residents. In addition, a survey was developed and administered to Holliston residents age 55 and older. A total of 1,332 questionnaires was returned, reflecting a strong return rate of 26%. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources were examined in support of the project aims.
A broad range of findings are reported in this document, highlighting the many positive features of Holliston as well as concerns expressed by older residents. The report is intended to inform planning by the Holliston COA as well as other Town offices, private and public organizations that provide services and advocate for older people within Holliston, and the community at large. While many of our findings, and the recommendations that follow, intersect with the scope of responsibility of the Holliston Council on Aging, it is understood that responding to many needs and concerns expressed in the community will require the involvement of other municipal offices or community stakeholders, and some will require substantial collaborative effort.
Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //scholarworks.umb.edu/engage
Coyle, Caitlin and Krebs, Mary, "Aging in Holliston: A Community Needs Assessment" (2023). Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging Publications. 74.