M-CASTL 2008 synthesis report : volume 1, older adult mobility.
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M-CASTL 2008 synthesis report : volume 1, older adult mobility.

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  • Abstract:
    The theme of the Michigan Center for Advancing Safe Transportation throughout the Lifespan (M-CASTL) is Safety

    and Mobility throughout the Lifespan. The purpose of the annual synthesis report is to identify short and long-term

    research needs that support the M-CASTL theme and reflect the US DOT’s national transportation research agenda.

    The intent of the reports is to help focus the Center’s research program and to maintain continuity over each year of

    the grant. The synthesis report also serves as the background for the annual M-CASTL Transportation Research and

    Education (TR&E) meeting. This report addresses the research needs for older adult mobility. The areas reviewed

    are: populations trends; driving trends; traffic safety; mobility needs; medical conditions and medications; screening

    and assessment; education and rehabilitation; vehicles and advanced technology; roadway design; Transitioning to

    non-driving; and alternative transportation options. This synthesis reviews some of what is known about maintaining

    older adult mobility and defines several areas where further research is needed. There are several themes that thread

    through this synthesis report. First, mobility is needed by all people. If mobility needs are not met by driving, then

    they must be met by other means. Second, older adults are not a homogeneous group. Older adults vary greatly in:

    the functional declines they may be experiencing; their ability to compensate for declines; their financial and social

    resources; and their personalities. All of these characteristics interact with the factors influencing safe mobility.

    Third, older adults, as well as all drivers, need lifelong education to maintain safe mobility. For the older adult,

    learning about roadway design changes, how to use advanced technology, and the transportation options available

    when driving is no longer possible is an important component in safe mobility. Fourth, research to help older adults

    stay mobile will also help younger drivers. Finally, meeting the mobility needs of an aging population is complex

    and will require the expertise and collaboration of several academic and applied disciplines. The M-CASTL will

    continue to provide these collaborative opportunities.

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