Barriers to senior citizens' outdoor mobility in Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this study was to picture perceived problems amongst older citizens in the traffic environment. Moreover, answers to the question why measures that are known to be efficient concerning the mobility of senior citizens are often not implemented. Eight EU countries participated in the study, involving both senior citizens and experts (researchers, decision makers and practitioners who deal with all aspects of seniors' mobility). Focus group interviews and personal interviews involving 487 senior citizens and 225 experts were carried out in order to chart problems. These were followed by quantitative surveys with 3,309 senior citizens and 490 experts that had the scope to measure the distribution of charted problems in the population. Finally, five workshops were carried out in order to discuss results and to formulate assumptions why promising measures are not implemented, as it appears. Barriers to mobility are by both experts and senior citizens attributed to traffic and infrastructure characteristics, to legal issues, to vehicle design problems, to inter-personal and inter-generational frictions, to lacking lobby power, but also to individual health problems. In order to improve mobility it is suggested by both senior citizens and experts to enforce vehicle speeds. Both groups also agree that public transport vehicles should be brought into an appropriate standard (low floor vehicles, kneeling busses). Senior citizens more than the experts ask for measures to support the sense of security and safety in the public space (police should be visible, appropriate design of infrastructure, public lighting).

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Authors
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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences

Keywords

  • approach, User-oriented, Mobility preconditions, Quality of life, Senior citizens, Implementation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
JournalEuropean Journal of Ageing
Volume7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes