Frisco accommodating for senior citizens as population increases

The Frisco Chamber of Commerceu2019s Senior Service Alliance hosted its first senior job and volunteer fair this year.

The Frisco Chamber of Commerceu2019s Senior Service Alliance hosted its first senior job and volunteer fair this year.

Image description
Frisco accommodating for senior citizens as population increases
Image description
Frisco accommodating for senior citizens as population increases
Image description
Frisco accommodating for senior citizens as population increases
Frisco’s senior population nearly doubled in a five-year span, increasing 95 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The growing senior citizen population is not just a local trend. Global organizations such as the World Health Organization have taken note of the aging population worldwide and have made efforts to address the needs of seniors everywhere.

The WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, for instance, was established to encourage communities to share knowledge and insight on how to best accommodate for senior citizens. A guide published by WHO for the network outlines specific areas city officials should focus efforts to make a city senior-friendly. These areas include housing and development, transportation infrastructure and job opportunities.

Though not listed as a member of WHO’s network, Frisco has seen growing efforts to make the city attractive and accessible to seniors, including increased housing options, transportation solutions and a senior-specific job fair.

“We actually have a very fast-growing senior population,” Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said. “… Because of that, we want Frisco to be a full life cycle community, meaning you can live here as a kid, go to school here, work here and then have different housing options all the way through all your senior needs.”

Development
When it comes to housing for senior citizens, the less maintenance that is involved, the better. Frisco Development Services Director John Lettelleir said seniors often will opt for single-story homes or urban living apartments because they are easier to maintain. Frisco Lakes, for instance, is an age-restricted subdivision with single-story homes in West Frisco.

Lettelleir said many developers, unfortunately, want to build two-story homes, which the city cannot control.

“This becomes a real challenge of having a lot of two-story homes because we’ll find most [seniors] will prefer single story, stay away from the stairs since that’s one main tripping hazard,” he said.

What the city can control is the design of neighborhoods and commercial developments, making sure the overall development has features that are conducive to seniors, Lettelleir said. Shorter neighborhood blocks help keep cars from speeding through communities, for instance.

Walkability is also an area of focus when city officials consider a development, Lettelleir said. Sidewalks should be wide with smooth surfaces and easily connect to open space as well as connect residential and commercial developments, he said.

Affordability of housing is a concern for seniors on the local and global level. WHO’s network guide suggests that a tax break on housing for seniors or allowing housing subsidies could help seniors move into a home that is appropriate for their needs.

“There’s also a population that I’m finding that’s moving out here with their loved ones that are relocating that are looking for affordable housing—apartments—that can’t afford to buy,” said Flo Ricks, the job fair chairwoman for the Frisco Chamber of Commerce Senior Service Alliance.

The state of Texas offers seniors a homestead exemption of $10,000 for school district property taxes. On top of that, Frisco offers a 7.5 percent homestead exemption for city property taxes and an $80,000 exemption for residents age 65 and older.

Transportation
The need for transportation for seniors is also growing in Frisco. The city contracts with the Denton County Transportation Authority to provide demand-response transportation for seniors and disabled residents. Since the inception of services in 2015, nearly 10,000 rides have been requested, increasing by more than 2,000 rides between fiscal year 2015-16 and FY 2016-17, according to DCTA.

Some of that ridership growth is attributed to an expansion of services. In March, DCTA began offering taxi service to supplement the existing services. The taxi service transports eligible residents to locations in Plano. DCTA also offers rides within Frisco and into McKinney and Allen.

Michelle Bloomer, DCTA assistant vice president of business operations, said DCTA currently has enough resources to continue growing services for Frisco residents.

“At some point, potentially in the future, we may reach capacity,” she said. “Then we would have to go back to the city of Frisco just to determine what they would like to do to proceed—either to provide additional resources or to cap the service at a certain level. But what we have seen is continued growth month over month since we implemented the taxi component.”

Cheney said he could see the city partnering with a private company, such as Uber or Lyft, in the future
to provide transit services either through DCTA or otherwise. These types of services could provide an immediate response to transportation needs, he said.

Jobs and volunteering
Not all seniors want to stop working after retirement or even want to retire, Ricks said. Knowing this, the Senior Service Alliance held its first senior job and volunteer fair this year. More than 170 people attended to find job and volunteer opportunities, she said.

Ricks said the fair was so successful that the alliance plans to hold another, larger fair Sept. 17, 2018.

“[Seniors are] a huge population, and there are people that want to hire them because they’re loyal, hardworking, dedicated and they have a body
of knowledge over the years that they’re able to share and impart upon younger workers that are in the workforce,” she said.

Companies or organizations that want to hire seniors need to make
that fact known to the community, Ricks said.

Cheney said seniors make up a large portion of the city’s volunteers. Seniors can also provide knowledge and expertise on Frisco’s boards or commissions, he said.

“There’s a lot of talent that serves on our boards—ex CEOs and so forth—that still want to use what they’ve learned and their skills to give back to their community,” he said. “There’s many ways that the city has been able to take advantage of our senior population.”


MOST RECENT

Examples of standing water favored by mosquitos include bird baths, planter basins, stagnant pools and water troughs. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco confirms 30th pool of West Nile virus-carrying mosquitos

The city will begin spraying affected areas at 9 p.m. on Sept. 17.

In addition to crepes, Crepe Delicious will serve frozen treats like smoothies and gelato. (Courtesy Crepe Delicious)
Crepe Delicious to make Texas debut in Frisco's Stonebriar Centre

The Canadian crepery will serve crepes, coffee and frozen treats.

New fixtures are being installed at the Cannaday Recreation Area near Clark Middle School. The 4-acre park is being redesigned as an athletic training hub. A budget of $500,000 will bring an obstacle course not unlike something from the “American Ninja Warrior” TV show to the neighborhood. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
Collin County adopts budget and property tax rate; Frisco prioritizes parks and trails development, plus more top news from DFW

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

graphic
DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

coming soon sign
Sweet Treats The Candy Jar set to open first Frisco location

Candy-lovers can head to Stonebriar Centre soon for chocolate, taffy, gummies and more.

The Cadence at Frisco Station opened Sept. 4 at 4160 Gridiron Road, Frisco. (Courtesy Frisco Station)
The Cadence luxury apartment complex opens at Frisco Station

A total of 322 units comprise the five-story luxury apartment community.

two head shots
ReBalance Physical Therapy set to open clinic in Frisco this fall

Services include treatment for chronic headaches, jaw pain and orthopedic injuries.

Kyodai Handroll & Sushi Bar features fatty salmon sashimi. (Courtesy Kyodai Handroll & Sushi Bar)
Kyodai Handroll & Sushi Bar opens in Fort Worth; Plano joins peanut butter drive and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

CASA of Collin County debuted its renovated facility on Davis Street in downtown McKinney on Sept. 14. (Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
CASA of Collin County celebrates 30th anniversary, facility renovation

CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are assigned to children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. These advocates act on behalf of children in court to place them into a permanent home that serves the best interest of the child.

Frisco ER & Urgent Care opened July 1 at 12600 Rolater Road, Frisco. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Frisco ER & Urgent Care providing 24/7 care

COVID-19 rapid testing is available at Frisco ER & Urgent Care.

Fire & Ice sports bar is closed at 2550 Preston Road, Frisco. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fire & Ice sports bar in Frisco closed

Fire & Ice served a variety of cocktails and food such as burgers, pizza and kabobs.