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Growing group of seniors surveyed

Connie Steiert
Special to the DailySeniors listed the three most important issues facing older adults in the county.
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EAGLE COUNTY ” Retirement housing and health are among the highest priorities for aging residents of Eagle County who answered a recent survey aimed at finding out what seniors want.

The survey was taken by 668 locals and second-home owners. Linda Venturoni of Venturoni Surveys and Research, which conducted the survey, said the numbers of seniors in the valley more than doubled between 1990 to 2000.

By 2010, an estimated 57,881 will lived in the valley, and by 2020, there will be 73,667, Venturoni said.

Some 75 percent of area respondents ranked retirement housing at the top of their top three priorities as they age, followed by health care and affordable housing.

“These are not people who say ‘I want a golf course community,'” said Elisabeth Borden of the Highland Group, a research and marketing firm working with county.

The transient “ski bum” population has given way to families, Venturoni said, which now include grandchildren and grandparents. And second homeowners ” 29 percent of those polled ” are looking to retire here as well.

Over 60 percent of locals polled said they would support a senior center by using it or volunteering. Nineteen percent of locals said they’d make a financial contribution to retirement housing in Eagle County, as did 10 percent of second homeowners.

“That’s really a lot of support,” Venturoni said.

As for where a senior center facility might be built the survey showed a location in the middle of the valley or downvalley was preferred over Vail.

“Avon, Eagle and Edwards really have pretty good responses from both groups,” Venturoni said.

Of those who said they would use some type of senior housing for themselves in the next five to 10 years, 84 percent of locals and 74 percent of second homeowners said that retirement housing was most important. That was followed in importance by short-term care.

Nearly 70 percent of local respondents said they would use short-term care as an outpatient, and 50 percent said they would use it on an extended basis if family were unavailable to help care for them.

More respondents were interested in an independent living complex, made up of apartments and patio homes. Still, 27 percent and 32 percent of second homeowners of locals were interested in assisted-living accommodations.

Another six percent of locals and five percent of second-homeowners also felt a need for long-term, skilled nursing care, and four percent of area residents foresaw a need for Alzheimer’s care.

This article first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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