Anchorage Senior Friendly Project
Residents of Providence Horizon House resting while Fred Meyer manager shares time with them. ASF Coordinator in background.
PHOTO: Daniel Pulu
by Jon E. Vander Weel, UAA Student
Anchorage is joining many other cities across the nation in establishing a Senior Friendly Project aimed at improving the shopping experience of our older citizens. The reason for such a project, as stated by Mayor Dan Sullivan is because, “There has been a 52% increase in our senior population in the past 10 years. Seniors as consumers contribute an estimated $1.46 billion into the state!” This amount is increasing further as “baby boomers” are added annually to our population.
This Project will involve Mystery Shoppers who, at the request of management, will evaluate their businesses, clinics, restaurants and other establishments as “Senior Friendly.” Training will be provided and a Senior Friendly decal issued for display. Their names will also be publicized in local media, and throughout the senior network.
The Anchorage Senior Friendly Project has been developed through the co-sponsorship of the MOA Senior Citizen’s Advisory Commission and the Older Persons Action Group, with assistance from students of the UAA Anchorage Human Services Department, Adulthood and Aging Class.
Through collaborative efforts the campaign will assist the community and businesses to move towards a positive future of understanding the needs of an aging population, and increase profits for businesses and the community as well. The intention of this campaign is to create a community that will maintain the dignity, independence, and standard of living for all our senior citizens. The goals are to provide benefits of: opportunity to improve customer service and access through specific recommendations, business with a marketing advantage, increase business visibility to older visitors and tourists, and establish a positive reputation among older consumers.
For more information contact Denise Knapp, Coordinator for the Project, at the Older Persons Action Group, 276-1059.