CASOA Reports and Statistics

What are the needs and strengths of older adults in Central Indiana?

When we know more about the needs of older adults, we can better serve those in our community.

Most older adults desire to age in place. Age-friendly communities assist older adults in remaining or becoming active community participants by providing opportunities for recreation, transportation, culture, education, communication, social connection, spiritual enrichment and health care.

To better understand the strengths and challenges of seniors aging in place, CICOA uses findings and statistics from the Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults (CASOA)™ to plan services for Central Indiana.

CASOA Survey

The CASOA survey is an opportunity for older adults to report on the strengths and needs of their community. The report summarizes how older residents view their community and its success in creating a thriving environment for older adults.

Community-based organizations like CICOA, local governments, the private sector and other community members can use this report to understand more thoroughly and predict more accurately the services and resources required to serve an aging population. With this data, community stakeholders can shape public policy, educate the public and assist communities and organizations in their efforts to sustain a high quality of life for older adults.

In 2021, surveys were sent to 16,000 households in Central Indiana with one or more resident age 60 or older. An online open participation survey also was conducted.

CASOA participants rated the overall quality of life in their community. They also evaluated their communities as livable communities for older adults within six domains:

  • Community Design
  • Employment and Finances
  • Equity and Inclusivity
  • Health and Wellness
  • Information and Assistance
  • Productive Activities.
Central Indiana Counties

Survey Highlights


of older residents rate their quality of life as excellent or good


of older adults say safe and affordable transportation is not available


reported challenges in maintaining their homes

Pie Chart Icon

Key Findings

CASOA Key Findings ChartGreatest Community Need

The areas of greatest need for older adults in Central Indiana are:

  • Housing–45%
  • Physical health–43%
  • Information on older adult services–41%
  • Health care–35%
  • Mental health–32%
  • Mobility (includes transportation)–28%
  • Finances–27%
  • Inclusivity–23%

*percent who reported feeling that this has been a problem for them in the past 12 months

Equity and Inclusion

  • About 62% of older residents rated the sense of community as excellent or good.
  • About half of the respondents positively rated their community’s openness and acceptance toward older residents of diverse backgrounds.
  • About half said their community valued older residents.
  • Inclusion challenges were reported by about 23% of older residents and equity challenges by 7%.

Productive Activities

  • About 5 in 10 survey respondents participated in volunteer activities.
  • The caregiving contribution of older adults was substantial in the region. About 18% of older residents reported providing care to individuals 55 and older, 16% to individuals 18-54 ,and 13% to individuals under 18.

Economic Contribution of Older Adults

Older residents in Central Indiana contribute $5.4 billion annually to the community through paid and unpaid work.

Comparison to National Benchmarks

The region did not score better than national benchmarks in any area. The region scored lower than national benchmarks in six areas.

  • Overall quality of the transportation system (auto, bicycle, foot, bus)
  • Ease of travel by public transportation
  • Public places where people want to spend time
  • Recreation opportunities
  • Fitness opportunities
  • Opportunities to participate in community matters

The areas in which residents reported a higher need than national benchmarks were:

  • Maintaining your home
  • Having safe and affordable transportation
  • Building skills for paid or unpaid work