The Healthy Aging Task Force, a coalition of more than 70 volunteers and 37 organizations, will launch a major survey of Island seniors next week in an effort to refine its mission.

Island residents over 65 will receive large white envelopes in the mail, each containing one survey. Task force co-chairman Paddy Moore said the survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and can also be filled out online.

Task force members have fanned out across the Island, appearing at selectmen's meetings, churches and other places to encourage people to complete the survey. All six boards of selectmen on the Island have endorsed the survey.

In Chilmark on Tuesday, selectman Jonathan Mayhew, who serves on the task force committee, called it an “opportunity to improve your quality of life as you age on the Vineyard.”

The Island’s senior population is expected to more than double in 15 years, and to almost triple by 2060, with more than half the population expected to be caregivers. One goal of the survey, which will go to every senior residence on the Island (excluding summer visitors) is to make sure that people over 80 are taken into account.

“It’s a mid-course correction, if you will, to make sure we are on the right track,” said task force committee member Juliette Fay, who also heads Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

The 50 questions relate to housing, employment, transportation, community resources and other topics that affect seniors and caregivers. Researchers at Brandeis University will help to administer and analyze the survey, although the task force will own the results.

Among other things, Mrs. Moore hoped to explore the issue of long-term care, which she said is so complex and far-reaching that many people simply ignore it. “I don’t know how it’s going to turn out because it’s not how people have been thinking,” she said.

Ms. Fay believed the Islandwide support this year for a new building for the Center for Living, formerly the Island Council on Aging, had brought more focus to the issues facing Island seniors and caregivers.

“It’s time for Islanders to take care of each other,” she said. “That’s how we have to think about it.”

The healthy aging survey may be returned via mail, or filled out online at