Community Assessment of Senior Health Using a Telephone
Survey and Supplementary Methods
Community Assessment of Senior Health
Telephone surveys, a standard research method with seniors, were conducted
to gather information about various senior issues, including retirement
plans (University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, 2002), care giving
experiences (National Institute on Aging & Duke University’s Center for Demographic Studies, 2000), and health and well-being (National Council on
the Aging, 2000).
With the marvels of modern medicine, people are living longer thus “dramatic shifts in the population and related demands for services.” Such a study was undertaken in the greater Williamsburg area in the Commonwealth of Virginia, where it became essential to assess senior
needs as the growth of the older adult population has been dramatic, increasing 65.2% between 1990 and 2000 (see Table 1; U.S. Census Bureau, 2000). To facilitate comparison of the Williamsburg area with other Communities, comparative demographics on age, gender, and ethnicity are provided in Tables 1 and 2. The proportion of the population represented by Seniors is projected to be higher in 2010 than 2000 for each area considered, with the rates of Virginia (17.9%) and of the United States (18.7%) approaching the projected rate in the Williamsburg area (20.2%). The projected growth rate of older adults between 2000 and 2010 is considerable, and these trends suggest the broader utility of knowledge gained in the Williamsburg area.
Table 1. Population Growth of Individuals 60 Years of Age and Older
Projection % Δ % Δ
1990 2000 2010 2000/1990 2010/2000
U.S. total 248,790,925 281,421,906 299,862,000 13.1 6.6
U.S. 60+ 41,857,998 45,797,200 55,967,000 9.4 22.2
16.8% 16.2% 18.7%
Virginia total... [continues]
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