Statement of purpose As we age, our ability to get where we want to go, when we want to go, may be reduced. These mobility reductions are commonly related to injuries due to falls and declining driving ability. The objective of this study was to understand older adults’ attitudes and beliefs around their current level of mobility, and interventions that might help protect future mobility.
Methods/Approach As part of a formative evaluation of an older adult mobility tool, a questionnaire was developed that measured mobility-related attitudes and beliefs, and opinions about the helpfulness of a mobility tool. The questionnaire was administered by phone to 1000 adults 60–74 years who reported their ability to get around as good or very good. Descriptive analyses were conducted along with significance testing.
Results Whites were more likely (71%) to perceive their ability to stay mobile as very good (71%) compared with Blacks (50%), and Hispanics (38%). Those with an income > $125k had a higher perceived ability to stay mobile (89%) compared with those with income < $25k (53%). Those who reported their mobility as very good were less likely to think about protecting their mobility (2.3 on a scale of 5) compared with those with good (3.0) and fair (3.5) mobility. Those who reported very good mobility were more confident about protecting mobility (3.6) compared to those with good (3.3) and fair (3.1) mobility.
Conclusions Understanding older adults’ attitudes and behaviours about mobility within different social and demographic groups is important for targeting interventions to help older adults maintain safe mobility as they age.
Significance and contribution to the field Helping older adults plan for changes in mobility as they age will increase and prolong their future safe mobility.
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