In a brief update on the grant received from the Grotta Foundation to create senior friendly communities, UWGUC has made some preliminary developments. The grant, in partnership with Springpoint Senior Living and the City of Plainfield, will fund initiatives to benefit older adults, helping them to live independently, safely and with dignity.
In early November, various community leaders attended a meeting to review the results taken from the Lifelong Plainfield Initiative survey developed by Visiting Nurse Services, a consultant partnering with UWGUC. Results identified three key focus areas preventing a healthy quality of life for aging residents in Plainfield – Access to adequate transportation, access to healthy and fresh food, and access to resources. Here are a few of those findings gathered:
21% of eligible residents surveyed said they could not afford fresh fruits and vegetables
16% of residents said that there were no convenient places in their neighborhood to buy fresh fruits and vegetables;
25% said that in the last six months, they had cut the size of their meals or altogether skipped meals because they did not have enough money to buy food.
55% said that shopping areas, banks or other needed services were too far away and a little over half of eligible residents surveyed said they knew services like Meals on Wheels were available in their area.
"LifeLong Plainfield was developed to address the barriers facing the aging community having limited access to transportation, healthy food and all around communication in Plainfield, said Juanita Vargas, VP, Programs and Operations at UWGUC. The goal is to improve the livability of older adults that will increase access and promote sustainable independence. Together with Springpoint and the City of Plainfield, UWGUC is leading the effort for the next course of action in addressing these needs. UWGUC has submitted an Implementation Proposal to the Grotta Foundation and subcommittees are being established.
UWGUC, with the support of the Visiting Nurse Services, develop a survey designed to gather data on the health and well being of the Plainfield senior community. The data collected was analyzed and a report will be produced with recommendations on how Plainfield can become an Age Friendly Community where communities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.