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Transportation issues for seniors need to be addressed

Posted: March 8, 2013

As the Marketing Director of the fabulous JCHE Shillman House[nbsp]perhaps the most pressing concern I hear from prospects about their future needs is what happens when and if the time comes when they can no longer drive?

We’ve all heard that every day 10,000 Americans turn 65 years old. We hear in the news concerns about healthcare, sustainability of Social Security and on JCHE’s blog we focus on our primary concern – housing. What we don’t hear much about is transportation concerns. Recently there was an alarming piece in the Boston Globe entitled ‘MBTA’s The Ride ridership down due to fare hike’ and we posted our own report on MBTA’s The RIDE’s new eligibility process. The MBTA’s programs are falsely assumed to be transportation services for older adults. In reality the paratransit service is for all people with disabilities who are unable to independently use general public transportation. 

The picture above was taken by me on a recent trip to visit my folks in Florida. One may expect Florida to be ahead of the curve regarding addressing the systemic needs of an older population. However, this picture exemplifies poor planning as you can plainly see a long and frustrating line at a new multi-space parking meter that is designed to be more efficient than the old fashioned change fed per space meters we all have grown accustomed to. The line was caused by a senior citizen not being able to read the screen due to the reflection on the (very confusing) LCD screen. It’s not a user friendly experience for anyone; but for an older person it’s absurd and done without much thought. If we can’t get parking meters correct it certainly begs a question about preparation for all the other aspects of transportation for an older population.   

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