Aging and Accessibility: A growing relationship

Ever worried about having the health, social and recreational services being within a block or two of where you live? Although this distance isn’t much, do you think about how difficult it is to access these places?  If you drive, find it easy to walk, or take the bus now, you’re not concerned today. But as a senior, your day-to-day needs may become challenge-filled.

For some seniors, the ability to drive is diminished as a result of impaired vision, walking several blocks could be difficult and accessible public transit may not exist. Take a look at your own neighborhood and mentally map out a 1 mile radius accounting for the services you will need.  Many city planners are doing this in anticipation of supporting the rapidly aging population. This includes improving accessible transportation and strategically positioning new social and health services for ease of access.

According to statistics, 1 in 5 North Americans will be 60 and above by 2025. This brings forth the issue of accessibility and infrastructure planning for the aging.  The Institute for Life Course and Aging, University of Toronto presents an example of how a neighborhood could change to accommodate future needs, including effective visuals of real Toronto streets.  See more about this here.

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