This report describes collaborative efforts undertaken by the Friends of the Marion Council on Aging (FMCOA) and the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging, within the McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston). Beginning in Fall 2014, these organizations partnered to conduct a study to investigate the needs, interests, preferences, and opinions of the Town’s older resident population, and the priorities of other stakeholders in the Town, with respect to living and aging in Marion.
In the earliest phase of the project, we met several times with members of the FMCOA to discuss and better understand their concerns about current and future aging-related needs of the Town and their evaluation goals. We used information gathered at these meetings to develop a research plan to systematically address the questions and issues that arose. During this assessment, multiple research methods were used. We began the process by examining public data from the U.S. Census Bureau to describe basic demographic characteristics, as well as economic traits, living situations, and disability status of older people living in the Town. We also conducted three focus groups to obtain feedback from multiple stakeholders, including representatives from municipal departments, private organizations, and older residents themselves. Finally, we conducted a comparison of Councils on Aging in five municipalities that are similar to Marion in order to assess how needs of older adults are met in other communities. Collectively, the contents of this report are intended to inform planning by the Marion Council on Aging (COA), other offices within the Town, and organizations that provide services to and who advocate for Marion’s older residents.
Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. http://scholarworks.umb.edu/engage
Steinman, Bernard A.; Gleason, Hayley; Khaniyan, Maryam; Somerville, Ceara; and Mutchler, Jan, "Aging in Place in Marion: A Community Endeavor" (2014). Gerontology Institute Publications. 108.