Survey launched to gauge services for Meriden seniors

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MERIDEN—The city’s Commission on Aging and Disabilities has launched a public survey aimed at measuring public opinion about its services for senior and disabled residents. 

The city will use the Zencity platform it purchased for $147,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to power the survey and to evaluate the responses. Zencity is a global technology company the city used on previous endeavors, including a public safety survey in February,  

“The commission got this idea last spring for a survey,” said Rick Liegl, senior affairs administrator for the Meriden Senior Center. “The city has used Zencity before. We have a credit and we’re going to use this credit for this survey.”

Zencity provided the sample questions the committee studied as a group and tweaked some of them and kept others. According to Liegl, the survey idea was prior to discussions and actions taken to review the notion of a possible new senior center.

The City Council agreed in November to approve spending $250,000 in ARPA funds to pay for a design and evaluation assessment for a new senior center with the potential for other uses included in the project. That study would lay the groundwork for the needs assessment, cost and design review. In October, the council agreed to approve the establishment of a new Senior Center Building Review Ad Hoc Committee to work with a consultant. 

“These are two separate but related topics,” Liegl said. “We wanted to give the commission a nice road map, make some recommendations. This was before the mayor and city manager bought up the new senior center idea. At the time, the commission was interested in gathering real evidence and facts post-COVID.”

The information gleaned from the survey will be utilized by the Ad Hoc Committee in drafting its recommendations. 

The services survey will gather responses from residents in English and Spanish that will measure resident satisfaction regarding the city’s response to the needs of seniors and persons with disabilities, while also identifying key concerns residents want the city to address.

Questions range from what services a participant or family member currently receives and what they would like to see in the future. There is room for comments and the responses are anonymous.  

The survey will appear to residents through the use of digital ads in various locations, such as social media platforms. Hard copies will be made available at the Meriden Senior Center. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and assist individuals with filling them out, according to a media release announcing the survey. 

Residents can find and respond to the survey by clicking on the following link:

“It is very user friendly,” said Martha Colaresi, chairperson for the Meriden Commission on Aging & Disabilities.”It’s easy to fill out and non-threatening. Starting today, hard copies will be around town, and volunteers are going to the senior center to assist. We want to go forward and try to address these issues and try to implement them. ” 

There is no established timeline or deadline for a report until the commission evaluates how many responses are received. There are also no questions regarding a new center or potential location, as that will be the topic of the Ad Hoc Committee’s separate study. 

The city combined the Aging Commission with its Disabled Commission in 2021. The survey is among its first large-scale projects. The panel meets this Friday. 

mgodin@record-journal.com203-317-2255Twitter: @Cconnbiz


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