Mobility and accessibility are essential for independent living, and transportation is the link that allows access to needed services and activities. Transportation plays a vital role in the lives of elder Floridians, and no single solution can meet all the mobility needs of Florida’s senior population – rather, a variety of services and systems are necessary to do so effectively.
Community design profoundly influences consumer mobility decisions. Participating Communities for a Lifetime are realizing through their visioning efforts that other mobility options such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and safe crosswalks are not just “extras,” but essential investments in the health and safety of their residents of all ages.
These communities are providing an opportunity for residents to be active and safe, which not only enriches their quality of life, but also improves health and increases longevity. In addition, steps to improve the environment for older adults are beneficial to others as well. For example, making sidewalks and crosswalks safe and accessible helps not only older residents, but also people using wheelchairs, parents pushing strollers and young children walking to school.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ multi-solution transportation policy recommends that local communities consider the development of Independent Transportation Networks (ITNs). ITNs work with local transportation providers to develop and expand elder friendly transportation, and encourage the development of alternative providers. The policy also supports the recommendations of the Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee’s recommendations on dementia and driving.
The Department’s efforts also include continued partnerships and ongoing collaboration with other state agencies including the Department of Transportation (Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged and the Elder Road User Program) and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Florida-At-Risk Driver Council and GrandDriver® Program).
Many opportunities exist for adults to assess and refresh their driving skills. The Department supports driver assessment centers and organizations that help older persons maintain their safe driving ability for as long as possible.
Increased mobility allows seniors, Florida’s most valuable resource, to continue making valuable financial and social contributions to the state, and to remain in their community for a lifetime.
The Florida Senior Safety Resource Center provides access to a database of transportation resources available in each Florida county. With a simple click on a map, you can view the transportation options that are available in your community. The website also provides information and links for numerous other community resources. Click www.safeandmobileseniors.org/FindaRide.htm to access this resource.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and its partners have created Florida GrandDriver®. The goals of the Florida GrandDriver® program are to promote elder’s continued driving safety and enhance your ability to get around your community when and where you want. For more information, contact the office below.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Florida GrandDriver ®
It is the policy of Department of Transportation to provide specific improvements to the State Highway System and to assist local governments with improvements to local systems that accommodate the special needs of elder citizens. These improvements shall include, but are not limited to, roadway, traffic operations, pedestrian and bicycle considerations. For more information, contact the office below.
Florida Department of Transportation Safe Mobility for Life
CarFit is an educational program created by the American Society on Aging and developed in collaboration with AAA (American Automobile Association), AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. For more information, visit the CarFit website at www.car-fit.org.
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