Older adults are heavily reliant on the automobile to access services and take them where they need to go. As they continue to age, older adults will face more barriers and implications to driving that may leave them isolated and unable to get around their community. AARP produced this report to analyze the survey results of a study conducted in 2006, with AARP Utah members regarding transportation issues that will affect older Utahans’ quality of life as they age.
The report provides statistical data representing responses from 1,188 AARP Utah members age 50 and older. The majority of survey respondents rate their community as good or very good in its ability to get older adults where they need to go. However, according to research findings, driving status, age, and health and disability status are significant factors in older adults’ overall satisfaction with their communities. Understandably, the oldest old, those 85 and older, score significantly differently than the 50-year-old AARP members in the survey.
Other report highlights include:
- More than 90 percent of Utah residents reported driving as their primary mode of transportation.
- About 80 percent of respondents reported that public transportation is available in their community, yet less than 10 percent use it at least once a week.
- The research shows a direct correlation between increased age and disability and problems affecting respondents’ ability to walk, drive, or utilize public transportation.
- Overall satisfaction with the ability to get about the community is significantly lower for non-drivers. Non-drivers tend to be older seniors with poor health and disability status.
How to Use
The report examines transportation issues that will affect the quality of life of Utahans as they age. Planners and local officials can use this report to gain an understanding of the factors that contribute to older adults’ satisfaction with the livability of their communities. Special attention should be given to how those 85+ responded to the survey. It is their transportation needs that more than likely need community support.
In order for older adults to age in place and maintain their independence for as long as possible, planners and local governments must make transportation options available and accessible to non-driving seniors.
View full report: Utah Transportation Survey: Aging and Mobility – 2006 (PDF – 469 KB)