Report to highlight needs of seniors in the valley

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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) — Data is being collected for a needs assessment set to be released next year for seniors living in the central Shenandoah Valley.

Bridgewater Retirement Community has teamed up with the Valley Program for Aging Services and a research firm to complete the comprehensive report on what services are desired by older adults.

Rodney Alderfer, the president of the retirement community where more than 300 seniors reside, said while he feels organizations in the area already do excellent work, the study will examine where improvements can be made.

"We know that affordable housing is going to be an issue," he said, "we know that navigating the health care system is going to be an issue, we know that transportation is going to be an issue."

Alderfer addressed the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday afternoon about the report.

At this time, secondary data like census information is being collected. Community surveys and interviews are planned for the fall, with thousands of participants potentially taking part.

The goal of the needs assessment is to create a singular resource for future planning.

"We don't currently have in our community one dataset," Alderfer said.

The report will include the City of Harrisonburg and the counties of Augusta and Rockingham.