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Seniors - Input Wanted

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Seniors -Input Wanted

By Kris Montgomery 

Sonoma County seniors are being asked to help develop a plan to 1) identify the unmet needs of older adults and their caregivers, and 2) offer advice about County services that can help fill those needs. Community input gathered through the Senior Needs Assessment Survey, which seniors complete in Spanish or English, online or on paper, provides essential data used to create the County’s Area Agency on Aging 2016-2020 Area Plan. The deadline to finish or return the survey is Fri., Sept. 18.

Sonoma County residents age 60 or older, or caregivers for someone 60 or older who is unable to complete the survey, can answer this year’s survey questions online at www.socoaaa.org and at focus groups around the county, or they can request a paper copy from the Area Agency on Aging at (707) 565-5950. Completed paper surveys can be mailed to: The Adult and Aging Division, Sonoma County Human Services Department, PO Box 1539, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

According to Diane Kaljian, Adult and Aging Services Director, “The Senior Needs Assessment survey results translate into a plan of action for the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging (SCAAA) and its Advisory Council. The SCAAA and Advisory Council guide funding priorities for seniors over the next four years and beyond. Each survey helps update the plan’s goals and objectives according to the critical priorities of the people we serve. The survey results also provide a framework for a widely distributed, comprehensive report that reflects community aging demographics and senior concerns.”

The survey asks questions about how best to improve seniors’ health and quality of life. They rate topics of most and least concern, such as housing, transportation, staying independent at home, caregiving resources and their activity levels, including ease of caring for oneself. The survey also asks where help is needed in areas such as personal care, household management and managing medications.