Getting Around: Alternatives for Seniors Who No Longer Drive - Report
The United States is facing a revolution in transportation, fueled by its growing population of individuals over the age of 65. The number of older drivers is on the rise--and they are driving more miles and at older ages than prior generations. Although functional abilities are affected by advancing age and some of the common health conditions associated with it, equating older age with a loss of driving ability is a stereotype that jeopardizes the independence of all older drivers, underestimates the financial costs to communities, and doesn’t address the currently inadequate public transportation and mobility alternatives for older adults, especially those living in rural areas.
As our elderly populations grows, so does the need to find mobility solutions that work. In response to The 2003 Santa Monica Farmer’s Market tragedy, Monika White, CEO of the Santa Monica-based, non-profit Center for Healthy Aging enlisted the award-winning documentary film company Wiland-Bell Productions in a national effort to educate Americans about planning for the day when driving is no longer feasible.
The result is the 30-minute documentary “Getting Around—Alternatives for Seniors Who No Longer Drive,” and this companion website. Both are dedicated to successfully maintaining elders’ mobility---and the safety of all of us---by focusing on when its time to give up the keys, helping at-risk elders transition to life-after-driving, and expanding everyone's travel options through improved public transportation and new models for mobility.
To do this, we must first change the discourse about older drivers from one of limitation to one of expanding options. Responsibility for monitoring elders’ fitness-to-drive is a social pact in which we are all stakeholders: the elder driver, family members and friends, physicians and healthcare providers, the DMV, and the community.
Our interactive website offers practical tools, information, and resources for everyone with a stake in the aging and driving issue. We also feature best practice transportation alternatives and innovative pilot programs that demonstrate how to address the great mobility needs of the future, if we begin to plan for them now. As you journey through these pages, you’ll find ample opportunity to share your ideas, tips, and experiences about transitioning to life-after-driving. It’s time to start “Getting Around.” We welcome your feedback and thank you for stopping by.