New Strategies Announced to Make Irondequoit an
Even Better Town to 'Age in Place'
Action plan developed from comprehensive survey of needs of older residents
Supervisor Dave Seeley today announced the completion of the 2016 Town of Irondequoit Older Adult Services Study, and initial implementation of its many recommendations. The six-point action plan will allocate Town resources to meet the needs of older residents and will create opportunities for Irondequoit residents of all ages to play a role in keeping Irondequoit an excellent community to age in place.
“Irondequoit boasts the largest senior population in Monroe County, and we want to keep it that way. However, if we are to live up to the charge of our town motto, and keep Irondequoit ‘A Town for a Lifetime,’ it is our responsibility to ensure that Town Hall is guiding strategies that will keep Irondequoit a community that is suited for older residents,” said Supervisor Seeley. “This study and its accompanying recommendations will guide the town’s efforts to meet the needs of our aging population, and work to keep them in the town they love.”
In 2015, former Supervisor Bello and the Board engaged the services of Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc to conduct a study of the needs and conditions affecting the Town’s sizable population of older adults. Through multiple public meetings, focus groups and a community wide survey, Lifespan received input from more than 1,700 older residents in town. The information gathered through the study shed important light on the needs and preferences of Irondequoit’s older adults. Lifespan used this information and their knowledge of best practices to develop a blueprint that will enhance residents’ ability to age in place and strengthen Irondequoit’s ability to be a town for a lifetime.
“Lifespan was pleased to conduct the Senior Services Study on behalf of the town,” said Ann Marie Cook, President/CEO of Lifespan. “The study revealed that most residents have lived in Irondequoit for 30 or 40 years, and they very much want to age-in-place in the town. Supervisor Seeley has listened to input from residents. His plan builds on our recommendations and will help make Irondequoit a great place to age well.”
Initial Implementation items include:
- Enhancements to the Pinegrove Community Center to make it a more welcoming place for older adults in Irondequoit. This $185,000 project will be funded through the 2016 Town of Irondequoit Community Development Block Grant Program. It is the result of feedback from the survey indicating that seniors would like to see investments made in the Town’s senior center.
- Better Communication. Many seniors noted in the survey that they preferred to receive information about Town programs via traditional mail. Therefore, while the Town will continue to utilize newer mediums to communicate with residents, it will also initiate a separate public information program to ensure that older residents are aware of town services and programs, particularly those provided for residents at the Pinegrove Community Center. The town will send at least two mailings annually with such important information to older residents.
- Irondequoit Older Adult Task Force. Over 300 respondents to the survey expressed an interest in serving on a community board designed to work with the Town to conceive, implement and assess strategies for enhancing senior living in Irondequoit. To continue the two-way dialogue that was commenced during this survey, Supervisor Seeley will recommend to the Town Board a resolution authorizing the establishment of a town-wide Advisory Board to help govern long-term decisions made by the town to make it more adept for aging in place.
- Invigorate Irondequoit 2.0 – Volunteer Leaf raking. This fall the Town will work to bring together citizen volunteers to assist older Irondequoit residents with leaf raking. The Town will coordinate this activity and work diligently to inform older residents about this program. This effort will mirror the widely successful Invigorate Irondequoit town wide clean-up, held every spring.
- Better Transportation alternatives. While the town already subsidizes a Senior Transportation Program, the survey clearly showed that transportation issues remain a critical concern for Irondequoit’s aging population. The Town will explore methods to provide a consistent mode of transportation for older adults, both for in-Town transportation as well as to other points of interest throughout Monroe County.
- Irondequoit Exhibition. Modeled after the successful Senior Health Fairs that occur throughout the region, the Town will sponsor and facilitate an exhibition in Irondequoit to provide a one-stop access to its human service providers, Town departments and key government agencies. This event is tentatively scheduled for March, 2017.
“This plan requires a concerted effort from Town Hall to meet the needs of our aging population with a call to action for the Town. However, of equal importance, is the role our civic groups, our faith community, our residents as a whole will play to make this an actionable plan,” said Seeley. “We know what our older population wants and needs to continue living in Town. Now is the time to put a plan into action.”