Background As we age our transportation options may become more limited due to mobility changes. These mobility changes may include declining driving abilities, or factors related to ageing and health. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a mobility assessment tool for older adults that would help them consider their mobility options as they age.
Methods A four-page Mobility Assessment Tool was developed that was designed to identify current and future mobility needs and challenges. An evaluation questionnaire that measured mobiltiy-related attitudes, beliefs and opinions was administered by phone to 1000 respondents age 60–74 years, who reported good or very good mobility Respondents were asked initial questions, given the tool for review, and then asked follow-up questions. Also, respondents had the opportunity to comment on the usefulness of the tool as they consider alternative mobility options.
Results Mobility-related attitudes increased after reviewing the tool. On a scale of 1–5 (where 1 equals “not at all” and 5 equals “very much”), the average scores increased for thinking about mobility from 2.4 to 3.4 (p < 0.0001), for thinking about protecting mobility from 2.5 to 3.8 (p < 0.0001), and for feeling confident about knowing how to protect mobility from 3.5 to 4.2 (p < 0.0001). The most frequently reported challenges to mobility were driving and other transportation barriers (48%) and physical mobility (18%). Most respondents found the tool understandable (97%) and easy to complete (94%) with two-thirds finding the tool relevant. Reasons given for not liking the tool included that it wasn’t applicable to their situation, or gave no new information.
Conclusions Administering the Mobility Assessment Tool with older adults resulted in increased awareness of the mobility challenges they could face, and helped them be more confident of being able to protect and preserve mobility options as they age.
- Older adult
- transportation safety