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The anonymous survey will help officials allocate resources to veterans, people with disabilities and older adults.

Washington County officials are asking at-risk residents to respond to a survey about the needs of veterans, older adults and people with physical disabilities so they can better allocate resources.

Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services (DAVS) is conducting the survey in multiple languages online and in hard copy upon request through Aug. 31.

The information gathered for the anonymous survey will be used to leverage resources as well as prioritize and identify gaps in services.

The needs identified in the survey will lead to the creation of a strategic plan, the 2021-2024 DAVS Area Plan, as required under the Older Americans Act.

"Community input is vital to ensuring we focus our efforts and resources where they are needed the most," said Rebecca Miller, program supervisor for DAVS and Washington County Area Agency on Aging director. "This survey will help us identify gaps, leverage resources and prioritize services as we develop our 2021-(2024) strategic plan."

DAVS offers community-based programs, including homebound meal delivery, caregiver support, in-home care, long-term care options counseling, information and referral, telephone reassurance, veteran services, benefits enrollment, legal services and more. Most services are provided at no cost.

The agency is particularly interested in survey responses from people ages 55 and up who are people of color, people whose primary language is not English, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ adults, people who were isolated or homebound before the coronavirus pandemic, and older adults on limited incomes.

Additionally, county officials want to hear from family caregivers and other unpaid caregivers, veterans of all ages and their families, and adults with physical disabilities.

The survey contains questions about people's access to basic needs such as transportation; their ability to seek help for aspects of well-being, such as feelings of loneliness; and if they have suggestions about how to improve access to resources.

DAVS will hold several virtual community engagement events in October through December to review the results and draft the plan in partnership with the public and key stakeholders. The final plan is due spring 2021.

DAVS offers a wide array of community-based programs, including homebound meal delivery, caregiver support, in-home care, long-term care options counseling, information and referral, telephone reassurance, veteran services, benefits enrollment, legal services and more. Most services are provided at no cost.

Community members who want to take the survey by phone or in a language not currently offered, or who need any other accommodation or assistance, should call DAVS at 503-846-3060.


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