Recommendations for meeting the transportation needs of Michigan's aging population.

Recommendations for meeting the transportation needs of Michigan's aging population.

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  • Abstract:
    "Mobility, or the ability to get from place to place, is important for everyone. Mobility enables people to conduct activities of daily life, stay socially connected with their world, participate in activities that make life enjoyable, and increase their quality of life. In the United States, and indeed in Michigan, personal mobility is frequently equated with being able to drive a personal automobile. However, because of agerelated medical conditions and the medications used to treat them, as people age into older adulthood they are more likely to experience declines in abilities needed for safe driving. Because of the preference for the personal automobile, and the lack of acceptable mobility alternatives, one focus of efforts to enhance safe mobility for older adults is to keep older adults driving for as long as they can safely do so. At the same time, society has a responsibility to help maintain mobility for those who are unable or choose not to drive. As the population of older adults in Michigan continues to grow, it is becoming more and more critical that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) understand the mobility needs of older adults and incorporate these needs into transportation facility design and planning. This project provided the background information needed to help MDOT identify where to concentrate resources to maximize the safe mobility of Michigan’s aging population. The overall goal of the project was to help maintain the safety and well-being of Michigan’s older adult residents by developing a set of low-cost, high-impact measures that could be implemented by MDOT. This goal was achieved through a literature review, an analysis of demographic data, and statewide surveys of older adults and family members/caregivers for Michigan older adults in order to gain a better understanding of the travel and residency patterns, gaps in transportation services, and the transportation needs and wants of Michigan older adult residents and the population of adults who provide care and/or transportation assistance to Michigan older adults. The complete results of these research activities, a list of measures for improving older adult mobility in Michigan, and an implementation plan are included in this report."
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