Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Senior Center Survey to Be Expanded

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After receiving slightly more than 200 responses on a survey about using the Westport Center for Senior Activities, the Senior Center Long-Range Planning Committee plans to change the survey before it is sent to more than 4,000 senior citizens in late April.

The committee reviewed the initial results today of the survey that was distributed to seniors at various community organizations and in a local newspaper.

The committee received 209 responses, of which 115 use the senior center and 85 do not.

Those who responded also generally preferred weekday programming at the center over weekend, and also do not have transportation problems.

Those who said they did not attend the center, the majority said it was because they work or do not have the time.

Nat Sylander, committee member who compiled the answers, said most of those who responded generally wanted a pool at the center or at least access to one.

Michael Belaga, committee chairman, however, said the survey needs to be changed in order to bring in more answers, especially from those who do not use the center.

The survey is slated to be sent out in late April in Perspectives, a town newsletter sent to all senior citizens registered to vote, and Belaga said he would want the changes to be made before the mailing.

The section on why people don’t come should be specific—including because they don’t have people to go with and transportation issues—rather than requiring a narrative summary, he said.

“We have to ask in a way we get a response,” he said. “We need to put things that they check and make it easy.”

John Luscombe, a committee member, said the best way to get a response is to have a postage paid envelope included, but that would cost too much money.

Senior Center Director Susan Pfister said she wants to try to offer an incentive such as a free lunch to someone who has never been to the center and completes the form.

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