Mobility can be easily understood as the “movement within and between environments.” This includes the use of transportation, driving, walking, the use of assistive devices, such as walkers and wheelchairs, and exercise. All of which are essential to successful and healthy aging. This journal volume summary was written to overview the new insights into how mobility is understood and defined from diverse perspectives. Additionally, it touches on the importance of community-based programs and policies to promote mobility in older populations.
Mobility restrictions can have serious consequences for the health and well being of older adults, not only because lack of mobility decreases independence, but also because it can lead to continuing health deterioration. There is a broad range of structural, personal, and environmental factors effecting mobility, and the theories detailed in this summary outline the beliefs, policies, and procedures recommended as a basis for action when trying to understand and improve mobility.
- IFC: A mobility theory that highlights the potential abilities of the individual and stresses personal, situational and environmental influences that may affect mobility.
- Social Ecological Model: Focuses on the role of ecological factors, which can influence individual behavior by highlighting the need to address interventions at multiple levels including the individual, interpersonal, institutional, community, and policy level.
- The Health Impact Pyramid: Provides an organizational structure for categorizing intervention strategies with respect to their potential impact on the targeted health concern. The five tiers of the pyramid are socioeconomic factors, changing the context to make individuals’ default decision healthy, long-lasting protective interventions, clinical intervention, and counseling and education.
How to Use
This summary discusses factors that need to be addressed in order to conquer the mobility needs of older populations, and help this demographic stay independent and healthy. Local planners and leaders should reach this summary, and the subsequent articles, in order to expanded their thinking about options for individual, community, systems, and policy interventions
View full report: Mobility and Aging: Transference to Transportation (PDF – 74 KB)