The SNHPC has conducted several surveys throughout the Becoming Age-Friendly Program.
Phase I: In 2016, the goal of the Commission was to better understand if the communities they served were recognizing New Hampshire's changing demographics: a growing senior population and a younger generation leaving the state. We began Phase I by having community conversations: town planners, town administrators, public works, and emergency staff frequently joined the discussion as well as librarians, parks and recreation staff, community business owners, realtors, service providers and volunteers from boards and committee such as Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, and Historic District Commissions. Our discussions identified assets, opportunities, and roadblocks as they relate to housing, transportation, recreation and engagement, and economic development for adults of all ages but especially seniors and millennials. The residential survey for the region and community assessments can be found here:
Phase I Individualized Community Assessments:
- Auburn Community Assessment
- Bedford Community Assessment
- Candia Community Assessment
- Chester Community Assessment
- Deerfield Community Assessment
- Derry Community Assessment
- Francestown Community Assessment
- Goffstown Community Assessment
- Hooksett Community Assessment
- Londonderry Community Assessment
- Manchester Community Assessment
- New Boston Community Assessment
- Weare Community Assessment
- Windham Community Assessment
During the first phase of the program, SNHPC had the opportunity to partner with the Manchester Regional Area Committee on Aging (MRACOA) to conduct library assessments. The goal was to provide the Commission and its partners with valuable information about the accessibility and programs offered in local libraries; if they were considering the changing demographics of New Hampshire in creating programs and ultimately working toward becoming Age-Friendly. The results showed that many of the libraries had programs not only for seniors, but also had multi-generational programs. On the other hand, most libraries had few options for seniors unable to access libraries if they didn’t drive. Since that time, many libraries have created virtual programs that are accessible to seniors who are IT and computer savvy.
An additional survey was conducted with the Alliance for Healthy Aging’s Housing and Zoning Subcommittee. The group was interested in better understanding why more Age-Friendly housing was not being built. The group created a survey geared for professionals in designing, developing and building housing. The results of the survey pointed toward limitations and roadblocks with housing regulations in New Hampshire.
Results of both surveys can be found here:
Phase II – Phase IV:
In Phases II-IV, SNHPC conducted a variety of pilot programs for several SNHPC region communities. The towns of Bedford, Derry and Weare all wished for the age friendly survey results to inform their master plan update. The town of Chester wished to focus on housing needs and work towards an innovative subdivision regulation that would result in Age-Friendly neighborhoods. These surveys can be found here:
- Chester Housing Survey Results
- Bedford Age Friendly Survey Results
- Derry Age Friendly Survey Results
- Weare Age Friendly Survey Results
Additionally, Phase IV of the program focused on a variety of surveys that revealed what community residents knew about the transportation options in their communities. Each community partnered with community champions, MTA, the local Regional Coordinating Council, and other partners. For example, for the Town of New Boston SNHPC coordinated with Southern NH University to identify transportation needs, usage, and understanding. Additionally, SNHPC assisted in a transportation survey for the Town of Londonderry conducted by the Londonderry Senior Transportation Coordinator. Survey results were similar in all communities and showed that approximately 50% of participants knew about the transportation options in their communities and a very small percent actually utilized the system. This work revealed that outreach and education about the safety and ease of the transportation options in the region needs to be more robust. Results can be found here.