Newport residents stress transportation, jobs and information as top concerns

in Newport/News

NEWPORT — Nearly 700 residents of Orleans County, including over 300 from Newport, responded to a citywide survey of livability needs and issues spotlighting a number of key findings as the city works towards becoming more “age friendly”.

The findings will help inform the work of the Newport Age Friendly Advisory Council as they formulate recommendations and develop an action plan moving forward. The areas of focus in the survey centered on the following:

Jobs

Accessible and affordable community health services

Civic and social engagement

Options for public transportation

Housing options designed with age in mind Outdoor spaces and buildings

The survey examines what is currently in place or occurring compared to what is needed looking ahead, in the opinion of residents over age 45, to make Newport a place residents can age successfully. Most felt that Newport was a very good place to live and most had lived there for more than 15 years.

While 88 percent primarily use their cars to get around, many said there is a need to develop better transportation options for seniors. The top needs expressed by respondents are concentrated in four key areas:

Job opportunities
Town information
Transportation
Outdoor spaces

 
A summary of significant community needs includes the following:

Job opportunities: flexible job opportunities, job training, jobs to suit people with disabilities.
Town information: community information that is delivered in-person, clearly displayed printed information, access to information in a single source, and an automated information source.

Transportation: ability to easily connect with public transportation outside of Orleans County.
Outdoor spaces and public buildings: neighborhood watch programs and well-maintained public restrooms that are accessible to all residents.

“The findings of this survey give us a good impression of the sort of improvements that can make Newport an even better place to grow old and thrive,” said Kelly Stoddard Poor or AARP Vermont. “Given the older demographics of this area, it is critical that city stakeholders begin to address the needs of a rapidly aging population. This is an important first step in that direction and gives the Advisory Council essential data to help them develop recommendations.”

The mail survey was commissioned by AARP and went out to some 3000 residents age 45 and older living in Orleans County, Vermont. The response of 700 is considered quite high for this type of research. The sample of Newport respondents has a margin of error of ± 5.5 percent.

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