New Hanover County asks for input to bring more senior resources to community

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Aging can be a trying part of your life, but in New Hanover County a survey is underway asking people what resources they need as they get older.

The survey is part of its five-year Master Aging Plan. County leaders say there are more people in the community who are in the 60+ age group than there are ages 17 and under.

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The county is now asking for the community’s help. The survey asks everyone to share their concerns about growing older, their needs, and feedback on the current senior resources available.

New Hanover County Senior Resource Center Social Worker Supervisor Andrew Zeldin says the survey applies to people of all ages, not just those who are older.

“It isn’t just older adults,” Zeldin said. “Here at the Senior Center, we do serve 55 and older for older adults, but you have a lot of families and family caregivers who support older adults. Or you may have some older adults who are raising young adult children, so anywhere from 40 on up, we think is that demographic.”

The county says the survey is available in English and Spanish and will be open until December 2nd. Over those seven weeks, leaders say they’ll be working to get feedback from community partners like Novant, holding focus groups, and holding community meetings.

Zeldin says this is part of phase one of their five-year plan. He says phase two will include taking the feedback and responses to create five subject areas and subcommittees for each group.

Senior Resource Center leaders say the subject areas may include anything from nutrition to transportation, to disaster preparedness to social isolation.

“It might be something we’re missing the mark on, and it’s not just a Senior Resource Center that we’re missing the mark on, Senior Resource director Amber Smith said. “Again, this is a community survey that, from a community standpoint, we need to do better, or we need to continue what we’re doing. It may identify certain areas that we never even thought about.”

Smith says it could even bring new programs to the community, and hopes this plan helps hold them accountable.

You can find more information about the survey here.