In 2013-14, FOCUS Greater Syracuse conducted a community-wide study on what our community can do to retain and engage the aging Boomer population. As the wealthiest, most active, most educated and strongest consumers of all generations, Boomers make significant contributions to our community, both social and economic benefits.
The aging Boomer population — those born between 1946 and 1964 — make up more than 30% of Onondaga County’s population. Over the years leading up to 2030, as more and more Boomers reach 65, our aging population will continue to grow and have a significant impact on our community. “We knew that we, as a community, needed to be innovative and proactive in order to retain this wealthy, productive and active group in our community,” said Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein, executive director emeritus of FOCUS Greater Syracuse. “We turned to the citizens to hear their ideas on what Central New York can do to keep them here.”
The comprehensive study and report was completed with extensive research and community outreach:
- Nearly 2,000 Central New Yorkers completed a survey on what would influence their decision to stay or leave
- Five focus groups were convened to discuss challenges and opportunities facing Boomers
- Nearly 40 key-informants were interviewed on the challenges to their sectors if Boomers stay – and in other cases, if they leave
- National research was reviewed and used as a comparative baseline for the local community
“More than 2,100 local citizens shared their visions for Shaping an Age-Friendly CNY,” said Holstein. “FOCUS’s Age-Friendly report supports that our community’s sustainability depends on the economic and social contributions of our Boomers. The good news is Central New York already has lots of things to offer an Age-Friendly community. However, through our research, we’ve identified opportunities and new approaches to encourage Boomers to stay in Central New York as they grow older.”