Ageing outside: An integrative approach to the daily mobility of the elderly in Spain

Pilar Zueras, Antonio D. Cámara, Amand Blanes, Marc Ajenjo

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

An ageing population may be seen as a challenge for the foundations of welfare States or as a unique opportunity to take advantage of the dramatic expansion of coexistence spans between different generations. Regarding the latter, successfully facing population ageing requires an implementation of measures which promote a collaboration and solidarity between those generations. Thus, it should include granting everyone the right to move safely and autonomously, which is particularly an issue within the current context of increasing mobility of people and goods. It is not only expected that more elderly participate in daily, outdoor mobility, but also that more educated and more egalitarian generations of elderly will augment their participation in the mobility systems (i.e., they will interact more frequently and more intensively). This chapter proposes a comprehensive approach to the interactions between daily mobility and population ageing in Spain, aiming at providing an example as to how to approach the elderly's interactions within mobility systems while benefiting the life quality of the former and the sustainability of the latter. Several key components of an active ageing population are analyzed in this chapter, scoping age and gender differentials within the Spanish population aged 65+. Among other relevant aspects, we evidence that the deterioration of functional abilities to perform outside daily activities is gradual after retirement, and severe limitations are probably postponing to older ages so that the current elderly not only survive until higher ages, but they can also participate longer in a growing variety of social and (paid or non-paid) economic activities out of their homes. This contribution to societal activities is clearly hampered by some inadequacies of the built environment and, more seriously, by negative size-effects reflected by the overexposure of the elderly to traffic accidents. Both the elderly's schedule and their movement patterns out of home (motivations to move and also destinations) contrast with other segments of the population so that they are central pieces in the planning of a more age-friendly mobility. Also, transport networks will need to adapt to the fact of population ageing, which encompasses the whole range of transportation since the elderly (in Spain) do not restrict themselves to the utilization of a given transport mean. Rather, both public and private means have been shown to play a relevant role associated with several factors. Altogether, we hope that the contents of this chapter will contribute in drawing attention to the need and the possibilities to conciliate daily mobility and the improvement of the elderly's life quality. © 2013 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActivities of Daily Living: Performance, Impact on Life Quality and Assistance
Pages25-54
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

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