Transportation: It’s a big issue for senior citizens

So, who’s going to take mom to the store? Impacts of aging and loss of mobility introduce all kinds of new issues for people who, in earlier stages of life, thought nothing of jumping into the car and running a few errands.


So, who’s going to take mom to the store?

Impacts of aging and loss of mobility introduce all kinds of new issues for people who, in earlier stages of life, thought nothing of jumping into the car and running a few errands.

The loss of driving privileges is, in itself, extremely traumatic for people who must suddenly depend on others to get around, says Linda Healing, community facilitator for the City of Red Deer.

In recent weeks, the city’s Seniors Transportation Committee has been collecting research and is now writing a report to be released this summer.

Results of the research, including a survey of 313 Red Deer seniors, were shared on Wednesday during a meeting with various service groups, transportation providers and city departments.

A summary of the research findings show that mobility and transportation are key to helping people live independently.

Issues around transportation planning are rising as the proportion of seniors in the population expands, says the summary, co-authored by Healing and Franklin Kutuadu, community researcher in the Social Planning Department. Seniors now make up nearly 10 per cent of the population, compared with 7.4 per cent in 1986.

Red Deer needs a shift in its transportation philosophy to meet the needs of that growing population, says the summary.

“Few transportation providers and planners ask about seniors’ mobility difficulties or difficulties in using transportation services, or about solutions to overcome these difficulties,” it says.

Seniors advocate Sam Denhaan, president of the Central Alberta Council on Aging, said it’s good to seek out the gaps and talk about ways to fill them, but providing those services takes money.

As Alberta pushes for privatization of services and backs away from the concept of universality, there will be less money available to ensure that suitable transportation systems are in place for all seniors, said Denhaan.

Andrew Dale, executive director of the Golden Circle, said his organization has a group of volunteer drivers available to help seniors go shopping, attend appointments and so on. However, there are only 16 volunteers available now and the demand for their services is huge and constantly growing.

“It’s going to take all of us to solve this,” said Dale.

Sponsored by the Alberta Motor Association, similar meetings have been held throughout the province, said Caroline Gee, advocacy and community services program co-ordinator from the AMA’s head office in Edmonton.

Just Posted

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

CRA’s automatic benefit registrations give retirees reason to file on time

TORONTO — This is the time of year when procrastinators begin to… Continue reading

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK — Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Most Read