Source: Aged Care Insite 8 October 2012
A new guide developed to help Australians consider more elderly friendly community design has been released by Queensland University of Technology.
Aimed at helping older people remain engaged and mobile within their communities, the Community Liveability Guide was developed to help local councils consider the needs of older people when developing new or redeveloping existing neighbourhoods.
“We found that there are a lot of factors that older people take into account when deciding how confident they feel about both walking around their neighbourhood and catching public transport,” said Professor Laurie Buys.
“We found that older people generally depend on their cars, and while some of this can be put down to habit and preference, factors such as footpath maintenance, shared pedestrian/bikeways and public transport routes are all significant.”
The research involved 48 older residents who, for a seven-day period, were tracked by GPS and GIS technology, kept daily travel diaries and participated in in-depth follow-up interviews. Four groups of older people were studied, located in inner city and suburban Brisbane, Toowoomba and Roma.
Buys said that research in this area was important because it highlights the mobility needs of older people in a factual context that could help urban planners in their decision making.
She said Australia’s ageing population meant the needs of older people would best be dealt with sooner rather than later. more