Measures to enhance mobility among older people in Scandinavia: a literature review of best practice

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Pål Ulleberg
Anu Siren
Randi Hjorthol

The present report is part of a larger project about mobility and its impact on older people’s well-being and welfare: Mobile age: The impact of everyday mobility for elderly people’s welfare and well-being. The heterogenity of older people is emphasised, not only with respect to physical age but also with respect to the specific resource situation and social context of everyday life. The geographical context of the project is Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The report is a literature review examining and evaluating measures designed to improve the independency of mobility among older people. While a few good examples of “best practice” in the Scandinavian area (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) have been highlighted, gaps and weaknesses remain. The areas which are examined in the present report are private car, public transport, cycling, walking and to some extent other transport modes defined by motorized wheelchairs, scooters, four-wheeled mopeds/motorcycles, etc. Measures to increase travel with public transport are on the agenda in all three countries, i.e. accessible vehicles and increased accessibility to the interchanges. Also, often small amendments through the travel route could make difference, such as pavements without stairs and benches on the way to the bus stop. Furthermore, strategies and measures for improving public transport concern not only issues such as accessible vehicles, wind shelters and plain pavements at bus stops, but also frequency and routes in relation to the mobility needs of a new generation of older people. However, lack of information and knowledge about public transport services is often rife among older people, which results in them travelling less than they might have done or shying away completely from using public transport. Information campaigns could be synchronised consciously to meet older people’s travel trajectories. New ways of providing information using the latest technology could be found to meet the needs of older people. Actually, sometimes the problem is not lack of information but too much of it or the wrong kind.

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