For the elderly, mobility is a precondition for a high quality life. Pursuing transportation autonomy among elderly has become an important task for local policy makers. Traffic safety, accessibility and availability of transport means, the design of the public space are important features. Next to the social aspects, the economic aspects also play an important role: e.g. the additional costs of a tailor made transportation system for elderly persons versus savings on home services and health care costs.
MESsAGE aims to contribute to the extension of the transportation autonomy of older people and to increase the use of sustainable transport modes within this target group.
Therefore, young senior citizens need to be made more aware of the possibilities to organise their lives in a way to lengthen their transportation autonomy.
Local policy makers must be addressed to raise awareness about specific mobility needs of elderly persons. These needs have to be translated into concrete mobility measures on the field.
The different steps and work packages (WP) in the project are:
- WP 1: Literature review and refinement of research plans
- WP 2: Quantitative research: Analysis of surveys on mobility behaviour and needs assessment among elderly
- WP 3: Qualitative research: Focus group interviews with senior citizens
- WP4: Action research: Pilot tests on participatory methods with elderly
- WP 5: Integration research conclusions & policy recommendations
The project pointed out several conclusions and recomendations in terms of policy and mobility practices. The need of accessible information on public transport offer and a lack of courtesy were issues raised by elderly people.
The quantitative analysis showed that the income profile is a significant determinant for the elderly persons mobility or immobility. Attention for place and neighbourhood is essential when talking about mobility inclusion of elderly in the community, not only for receiving support, assistance and services, but also for organising activities and enhancing social participation.