Extending Mission Into the Broader Community

2019 Senior Community Needs Survey Open Through September 30

Bridgewater Retirement Community is a great place to be, full of energy for life. We’re a nonprofit organization with significant expertise on healthy aging. Our charitable mission drives us to use this expertise to have the best and most direct influence on behalf of our residents. And we think it’s important to share our expertise to benefit our broader community.

In the Shenandoah Valley, the number of people aged 75 and older is rapidly growing. With that growth comes increasing need among our neighbors. We’d like to know what we can do to help address those needs.

That’s why BRC, along with our partners, is sponsoring the first comprehensive Senior Community Needs Assessment in our region.

Strategic focus

Bridgewater’s strategic plan over the past few years has been focused on the infrastructure that supports the energy for life so vital to our people. When we wrap construction on the Grove, Assisted Living expansion and renovation, new dining venues, and expansion of the Houff Community Center, we will gratefully turn our minds to other projects. We do not plan additional major construction in the next several years, but of course, will continue with incremental improvements and maintenance.

In a world of perpetual growth and expansion, that may stand out as unusual. In our minds, we are right-sizing our community just as many of our residents right-size their households.

This frees up mental and emotional space so we can increase our focus on building community partnerships and making a difference among the region’s older adults.

An In-depth study

The Senior Community Needs Assessment is a comprehensive study that incorporates information from four sources: publicly available data such as the census and hospital surveys; a focused survey of “key informants” (people with experience in serving the senior population in our area) which has already been conducted; a survey of people 65 and older in our region; and a caregivers survey which will be conducted in October.

You can help—take the 65+ survey

Step one of this exciting new phase in Bridgewater’s outreach is the Senior Community Needs Assessment … and the 65+ survey is a crucial component of the larger study. It is open through September 30.

To take the survey, you must be:

  • Age 65 or older
  • A resident of Rockingham County, the City of Harrisonburg, or Augusta County (excluding the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro).

If this describes you, go to www.brcliving.org/survey and fill out the questionnaire. We need as many responses as possible to adequately assess the needs of older adults throughout our region.

Our team members and volunteers are actively working to encourage high participation. We are reaching out in myriad ways. We had a booth at the Rockingham County Fair all last week, are visiting Senior Centers and libraries throughout the region, and are scheduling Speakers Bureau presentations for civic organizations. Let us know if you can put us in touch with organizations we should include.

How we will use the information

Our purpose in collecting this information is simple—to identify and bring attention to the needs of older adults in our community and challenge the local government,

health providers, businesses, agencies, and nonprofit organizations to work together creatively to meet those need.

All individual responses will be private. In fact, Bridgewater Retirement Community won’t even see the survey answers—only the aggregated data, which will be compiled by Holleran, an independent research firm. However, the final report may quote individuals, without attribution.

But the results will be public. We will share the study conclusions and recommendations in a community meeting open to everyone.

Our partners in healthy aging

To assure the best and most reliable results, BRC is partnering with the Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) and Holleran, an independent research firm. If you would like to help, please contact us at 1-800-419-9129 or www.brcliving.org/about-us/contact-us.