Future of Age,Quality of Life,Transport

Tuesday 11th March 2014, 13:30 (for a 14:00 start) – 17:00, London

This is the first in a series of three seminars exploring ‘Community Matters: are our communities ready for ageing?’ from ILC-UK and Age UK. The topic is ‘Getting out and about’, and focusses on issues of transport and the built and social environments and their impact on getting older in local communities. The results of these seminars will inform a solutions-focussed policy brief, looking at what needs to be done to create age-ready local areas. This brief will be launched in May at a full day conference on ageing in our communities.

Getting out and about is of vital importance if older people are to remain healthy, happy and active members of the communities they live in. Getting outdoors benefits older people socially, by allowing them to visit friends and interact with members of the community, and practically, by allowing them to access local amenities and services. These activities also help older people to become more integrated into their local community. Despite these benefits, research has shown that as older people age they make fewer trips outside of their home.

Many factors contribute to older people not getting ‘out and about’. A lack of access to affordable and accessible transport options can be a significant barrier to social inclusion and independence. Bad or poorly maintained pavements, and a lack of benches or accessible toilets create physical barriers to older people when they want to get out and about. These physical barriers then help to create mental barriers. For example, many older people do not leave their homes because of a fear of falling. Elsewhere, research has found that many older people do not venture out of their homes because of a fear of crime.

This seminar will explore:

  • how the local environment can be adapted to better meet the needs of older people.
  • the different physical and emotional barriers affecting older people’s ability to leave their house and engage with the community, with a focus on three key areas- transport, the local environment and fear of crime.
  • the current transport options available to older people in the UK, and then discuss how to ensure private and public transport facilitates the connection between the home and community.
  • strategies to reduce fear of crime while maintaining older people's natural defences against crime, and the usefulness of planning measures such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).

More information on the second seminar in the series can be found here: Community Matters: are our communities ready for ageing. At home

More infromation on the third seminar in the series can be found here: Community Matters: are our communities ready for ageing: Ensuring communities offer what older people want

The presentation slides from this seminar can be veiwed below: