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Seniors Housing and Support Services Survey 2006 - 2007

The Survey

Atlantic Canada has many senior citizens. This number will continue to grow as people live longer and baby boomers pass retirement age. Will they (and you) find the kind of housing and support services that will be needed?

Our group of researchers from five Atlantic universities and many community agencies is looking at these issues from 2005 - 2009.  (You can click the following links for more information about: our research overall, the research team, and our sponsors.)

As part of this project, we asked seniors across the region to fill out a survey about their needs for housing, support services, and transportation. The ideas and opinions of seniors are one of the most important parts of this project. Their input will help us to get a better picture of what the housing needs are across the region and how best to meet those needs.

Our mail-out survey was adapted (with permission) from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) 1998 interview survey called Planning Housing and Support Services for Seniors. ASHRA mailed the survey, titled, the Atlantic Seniors' Housing and Support Services Survey, to all seniors who agreed to take part.

Prior to the mail-out, a large group of seniors tested the survey, and their responses were very positive. They told us that the survey was interesting to complete and that they enjoyed the opportunity to help other seniors.

The Process

From September to December 2006 , ASHRA (in partnership with the provincial Departments of Health) sent letters to randomly selected Atlantic Canadian seniors asking them to take part in the survey.

Seniors were asked to fill out and return a one-page reply form telling us their mailing address and language preference. A stamped return envelope was included for this purpose. Between 390 and 520 seniors participated in each province, for a total of over 1700 surveys. On average, it took about 45 to 60 minutes to fill out the survey. The survey did not have to be filled out in one sitting--it can be done in several stages; however, we asked respondents to send it back within two weeks.

Seniors were welcomed to have a family member or friend help them fill out the survey. If the senior preferred to have one of our partners in their community help them, arrangements were made to do so.

The survey was completely voluntary – seniors did not have to answer any question that they were not comfortable with and could stop at any time. Survey results are anonymous (no names were written on the survey); all responses are secured in a locked cabinet and kept strictly confidential.

Results of the survey were made public in November 2007 through our community partners, reports, newsletters, media coverage, local presentations, and the ASHRA website at www.ashra.ca. To protect the privacy of the seniors who filled out a survey, individual results will not be reported in any format, at anytime, to anyone.

If you have any questions, please call the ASHRA project office toll-free at 1-866-405-1804. You can also e-mail the Project Coordinator at yvonnedasilva@msvu.ca

The survey was the main product of Phase 2 of the ASHRA project.  In the first phase, we developed an online community profile model that anyone can use to learn more about the heath and wealth situation of the seniors population in their area.  Please click here to learn more about the model. We are currently in Phase 3 of the project, which will last until late June 2008. The objective for the third phase is to document the existing supply of housing choices and how to identify emerging innovative options.

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