Hanson, Massachusetts, needs assessment, older residents
Growth in the number of older Hanson residents is expected over the coming decade. Preparing for this demographic shift invites reflection about the extent to which features of the community and characteristics of municipal services meet older residents’ needs and interests, and making plans to improve alignment where appropriate. In support of this planning process, the Town of Hanson 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 50 and older. During this assessment, multiple approaches were utilized to compile information that could be used to plan and implement current and future services. We developed and administered a survey for Hanson residents age 50 and older. A total of 1,128 questionnaires were returned, reflecting a return rate of 27%. In addition, we collected insights from Hanson leadership and other stakeholders in the community, reviewed relevant materials available on the Town website or shared by the COA, and interviewed directors of nearby COAs. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other existing sources were also examined in support of the project aims.
A broad range of findings are reported in this document, highlighting positive features of Hanson as well as concerns expressed by older residents. While many of our findings, and the recommendations that follow, intersect with the scope of responsibility held by the Hanson Council on Aging, it is understood that adequately responding to 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. Thus this report is intended to inform planning by the Hanson Council on Aging as well as other Town offices, private and public organizations that provide services and advocate for older people within Hanson, and the community at large.
Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //scholarworks.umb.edu/engage
Mutchler, Jan; Velasco Roldan, Nidya; Somerville, Ceara; Rouleau, Beth; and Mailman, Rebecca, "Hanson Council on Aging Needs Assessment" (2020). Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging Publications. 80.