The vast majority of us will outlive our driving years by about a decade. That means we’ll need to rely on a variety of transportation services to help us get around.
While 42 percent of area agencies on aging offer older drivers safety training so that we can stay on the road longer, fewer than 4 percent of area agencies on aging in the U.S. provide travel training services that help older adults transition from driving to learning how to get around without a car.
These services would provide great benefits to seniors and their families, and they can save money overall for communities. Understanding how to improve personal mobility is crucial for older adults. Retired drivers take 15 percent fewer trips to the doctor, 59 percent fewer shopping trips, and 65 percent fewer trips for family, religious, and other social reasons.
In this video, the few agencies that provide these services in the D.C./Virginia/Maryland region – including Montgomery County’s Jewish Council for the Aging and Medical Transportation Management, Inc. in Washington D.C. – are spotlighted. Representatives discuss how communities, transportation agencies, and the public can handle this issue, and all the reasons why older people can improve the quality of their lives and their sense of independence by learning about and using public transportation.
This issue is even more important as, according to AARP, more than 20 percent of Americans age 65 and older don’t drive at all, and the massive amount of retiring Boomers will greatly increase that percentage.
You can read much more about the issue here, and you can try to get public transportation travel training where you live by contacting your local transit agency, your local eldercare locator, or Mobility Lab.