Central Ohio's senior citizens face a variety of issues, but many of Columbus' older adults have a lot in common, according to results from a survey by Age-Friendly Columbus.

Many seniors -- 81 percent of those responding to the survey -- still drive, and nearly 91 percent want to age in their homes.

Asked to rate the city, 71 percent said Columbus is a good place to live.

Unfortunately, not all of the survey results were positive.

Forty-one percent of older adults either agree or strongly agree that members of their community have negative stereotypes of older adults.

Daniel Sinclair, one of 200 residents of the Jaycee Arms Apartments, a retirement community downtown, said he has a bone to pick with city officials.

The retirement center, 266 E. Main St., sits across four lanes of traffic from a COTA bus stop.

Many residents who rely on public transportation have trouble crossing the street to catch the bus, Sinclair said.

Sinclair, 75, said he has been working on the issue for a year and believes city officials express empathy for his situation, but aren't necessarily listening.

"I think the natural procedure with older folks is to be respectful to them, listen to them and do what you want anyway," Sinclair said.

Marty Stutz, a spokesman for COTA, said a bus stop is on the south side of Main Street, 150 feet east of Main and South Fifth Street, near a crosswalk with a signal.

Stutz also said some residents at Jaycee Arms Apartments might qualify for Mainstream, COTA's door-to-door service for people with qualifying disabilities.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, which is leading the Age-Friendly Columbus effort, predicts the region's population of those 65 and older will double over the next 35 years.

Age-Friendly Columbus is a citywide initiative "to ensure that individuals of all ages and abilities can remain in their neighborhoods and live a high quality of life independently," according to its website.

Katie White, project coordinator for Age-Friendly Columbus, said since the initiative was launched last year, more than 346 residents ages 50 and older have participated in a mail-in survey, while another 875 completed the survey in person or online.

White said she believes it represents the general opinions of the city's aging population.

"Basically, because it's a random sample, you can say with statistical certainty these results reflect the perceptions of Columbus' older adults," White said.

"We are going to take the survey findings and work with our subcommittee members and our older adults to write a strategic plan that will outline a three-year implementation period," she said.

Bill Owens, executive director of the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, said caring for the aging population is a growing part of the organization's duties, particularly in the area of transportation.

"It's a challenge," he said. "People don't think they're going to get old."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary