Seniors urged to participate in survey about services

Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010

JUNEAU - Juneau residents who are 55 or older are being given the opportunity to create a "wish list" for future services available to seniors. This list will be compiled from the 2010 Needs Survey for Older City and Borough of Juneau Residents which is being distributed now throughout the borough by the members of the Juneau Commission on Aging.

Since 1990, the number of Juneau residents aged 55 and over has more than doubled. This is a chance for every Juneau resident that is 55 or older to help influence what services could be available to them in the future. The survey responses will supply the information required and constitute a recommended list of services that will help local officials and service providers gain a better sense of what is needed for Juneau's aging population.

There have been two similar surveys previously in Juneau. The first was the Golden Resource Survey, held in 1989, which resulted in the building of Fireweed Place, an independent living apartment building for seniors. The more recent Senior Citizen Needs Survey, held in 1998, resulted in the building of the Wildflower Court long-term care facility. Past surveys also were instrumental in the development of Smith Hall at the St. Vincent dePaul complex near the airport.

"A 'wish list' can become a reality only if people participate in this survey and let their wishes be known," said Renee Guerin, who is coordinating publicity for the project.

The Commission is joined by the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly and Senior Citizen Support Services, Inc., in conducting this survey. Collaboration with the University of Alaska Southeast School of Public Administration will produce an analysis and final report on the responses in the fall of 2010. The list generated will be available to the officials who can make a difference in the future.

Copies of the survey are available at local libraries, senior centers, Fireweed Place and organizations.

"Fill it out, fold it over, tape it closed and leave it at any library or senior center, in the drop box at City Hall, or mail back post paid," urged Guerin. "The opinions of older residents really do count."

The member of the Juneau Commission on Aging are Lorilyn Swanson, Lee Ann See, Anne Schultz, Robert Thibodeau, Mary Jefferson, Dan Kassner and Guerin. Inquiries may be made by calling the City Clerk's office at 586-5278.

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