As our parents age, threat of social isolation and loneliness grows as they become less independent and able to do the things that they used to do. This includes visiting family and friends, going grocery shopping, or getting to and from medical appointments. This “social cohesion” is important for physical and mental health, and to have older adults feel empowered to keep living a healthy life. Getting older can affect our ability to drive and losing our driver’s license when is a milestone that no one looks forward to, but will happen to many of us. In the USA the “Silver Tsunami” sees a very large aging baby boomer generation, many of whom will lose their drivers license in the next decade.
According to AAA, one in four licensed drivers is age 65 and older, which means that millions of American families will be working through this challenge,” said Jake Nelson, director, AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy and Research.
That national news has sparked a local effort to address these issues. The Oregon DMV, with the help from Commute Options, is currently creating information packets that will help seniors learn about transportation options in their specific community. The packets include information such as fixed route bus services, dial-a-ride services, carpool matching resources, information about veteran’s medical transportation options, and more. Included in the packet is a free ticket for riding the bus, so people can try it out.
For more information contact Brian Potwin