Director of Elder Services Jennifer Young is pleased to report that the Town of Hingham and the Hingham Senior Center will be seeking feedback from residents in town this spring as they look to evaluate and address the needs of seniors.
The senior center's “2022 Hingham Community Survey,” which was created in partnership with the Council on Aging and researchers at the UMass Boston Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging, will focus on the needs and interests of Hingham's adult population.
The study will consist of a 40-45 question survey that will be made available at the end of this month both online and through printed copies mailed to Hingham residents aged 45 and over.
As part of the information gathering process, one-on-one interviews will be conducted with Town officials and other key stakeholders to gain perspective on the adequacy of elder services in Hingham, identify key service gaps and identify ways in which Town leaders are planning for growth in the aging population.
The results of the study will be presented to the community in the fall and will inform planning for programs, policies and other town-wide efforts meant to ensure that Hingham is a friendly, accessible and inclusive place for residents to grow up and grow old.
"The over-60 demographic is the fastest growing age cohort of Hingham's population, and this cohort will achieve a more active and longer lifespan than its predecessors,” said Council on Aging Board Chair David Alschuler. "As the town population matures, the needs and interests of its over-60 citizens are evolving rapidly. This survey will provide critical input to the planning process, which is underway to identify the services, programs and supporting physical facilities needed to fulfill a commitment to improving the quality of life for our most experienced residents.”
The 2022 Hingham Community Survey is a follow-up to a comprehensive assessment done in 2013. The Town is looking to identify what seniors in the community need and want now, and what the Town can provide in terms of outreach and social opportunities.
“Our senior population is aging in place longer and living healthier lives than ever before,” Director Young said. “This survey is an opportunity to find out not just what seniors are looking for, but concrete ways we can help them in both the short term and the long term. We hope to change the myth of what a senior center is, as a modern-day senior center is a vibrant place bustling with activity where people can go and share similar interests with their peers.”
The results from the survey will also assist the Town to help formulate a strategic planning document for elder services, which expired in 2020. The Town waited to update the document due to the COVID-19 pandemic, knowing that senior programming and services are much different now compared to what they were three years ago. As an example, the senior center is seeing more of an interest in hybrid services and technology opportunities.
“This process comes at a critical time for our Department of Elder Services, and the information gathered will guide the direction of the department’s long-range strategic planning and the site design for the construction of renovations for senior center facilities,” Director Young said. “This includes guiding our senior center Building Committee in planning for the expansion and renovation of the current senior center.”
The 2022 Hingham Community Survey will be mailed out to residents on Monday, March 28.