New Initiative: The 2019 Senior Community Needs Survey

In the central Shenandoah Valley, the number of households including people aged 75 and older is growing twice as fast as households overall. There will be even higher growth of 80+ households beyond 2023.

Is the broader community in Rockingham County, Augusta County, and Harrisonburg ready to meet the needs of the burgeoning Senior population? BRC is seeking to know what the most crucial needs are. The fact is, our community does not have the data we need to answer that question, although many organizations have expertise and offer important services to seniors in its region.

Therefore, BRC is partnering with Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) and Holleran, an independent research and consulting firm, to conduct an in-depth community assessment of the needs of people 65 and older in the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and Augusta County.

“At BRC, every day we work to foster the best possible quality of life for our 500+ residents, and it’s gratifying to see the positive impact that BRC and our team members have here on our campus,” comments Carrie Budd, Vice President for Development & Community Relations.

“But there are many more Seniors in our region who are not our residents, and we want to help make a difference for them as well. This study will give us the information we need to forge partnerships and direct our efforts where we can make the biggest difference.”

The study has four segments:

  • gathering publicly available information such as census data and other demographics
  • a survey of “key informants,” or people who have professional expertise or responsibility for serving the needs of people 65 and older
  • a survey of people who are 65 or older in Rockingham County, Harrisonburg, and Augusta County
  • a survey of caregivers in the same jurisdictions.

The survey of people 65 and older will launch on August 12 and will be available on the BRC website through September 30. A link will be provided in BRC’s August e-newsletter.

Through the study, BRC and VPAS hope to bring attention to the needs of seniors in our community and challenge the local government, health providers, service providers and other nonprofit organizations to work together creatively to meet these needs.

The study conclusions and recommendations will be shared at a community meeting and will be publicly available.