Creating Community for a Lifetime


News Release


Roberta F. King, APR, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Phone: 616-454-1751, ext. 119 Email:

Survey Seeks Opinions and Ideas of Older Adults

GRAND RAPIDS - What older adults want and need from their community will be much clearer in the coming months as research funded through The Grand Rapids Community Foundationās Lucy Barnett Trust for the Elderly seeks the input of 500 Kent County residents age 65 and older. The 30-minute random survey will be conducted by telephone during the last two weeks in July. It will provide the Foundation and its lead partner, the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, baseline data to help the greater Grand Rapids community plan for the future regarding the needs and wants of older adults.

The research is part of the Creating Community for a Lifetime initiative that began in May. More than 80 organizations and individuals involved with seniors are meeting throughout the summer and fall working toward making Kent County a community that is supportive and responsive to the needs of the aging population.

"In order for us to move this important aging initiative forward, we need to have valid quantitative research on hand. We want the facts and perceptions about our community from older adults themselves - not only from the service providers. The model for the research has been done throughout the US in a variety of communities larger and smaller than the greater Grand Rapids area," said Grand Rapids Community Foundationās Program Officer Kate Luckert, one of the initiativeās leaders.

The interviewers will ask questions regarding awareness of services available in the community; housing; safety; community life; access to transportation; health care; civic involvement and maintaining independence at home.

The Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University will do the analysis of the research. Results will be made available in October.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the oldest community foundation in Michigan, was founded in 1922. It continues to fund, initiate and lead programs that benefit the Grand Rapids area in the arts, community development, education, environment, health, and human services.