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At the Intersection of Aging and Transportation

PHOENIX (March 18, 2019)—Most of us don’t think twice about being able to go where we want, when we want, or connecting to the people and places that matter most. Imagine losing that freedom. The distance to medical care, friends and family seems longer than ever before. Your health suffers. Without regular interaction, people fade away.

Every day, older adults in our communities face the impacts of losing access to transportation, losing access to what they want in life.

";This is a personal crisis for the adults who lose their independence, and for adult children who cannot meet the needs of their aging parents. It is a community crisis when we lose the time and talents of older adult employees and volunteers. It is a national crisis, bound by our common search for solutions," says MAG Chairman Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek.

A FREE conference, At the Intersection of Aging and Transportation, will feature solutions that connect aging, health, and transportation through innovative programs. The conference will be Wednesday, March 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Phoenix Airport Marriott, 1101 N. 44th St., Phoenix. It will offer important insights about what is working and what can be done better.

With an "age wave" of baby boomers swelling the older adult population, some call the massive population shift a "silver tsunami."

"A tsunami we're facing sitting in silos," explains keynote speaker Greg Rodriguez, an attorney at Best Best & Krieger who specializes in technology and transportation. "However, with the merging of innovation and technology, we have a real opportunity to address the transportation crisis facing older adults. We can do this by enhancing mobility and overcoming silos through cross-sector collaboration. This will ensure that the critical transportation connections to and for our aging populations are solidified and prioritized."

Rodriguez will discuss the critical role of transportation in creating healthy and connected communities, how technology offers opportunities to improve access to transportation, and the important connections between healthcare and aging in place.

The Federal Highway Administration will share the recommendations and material developed at the conference into a curriculum for training transportation professionals nationwide. Topics in general sessions and breakout workshops include:

  • The role of transportation in keeping older adults and communities healthy.
  • Options for meeting the transportation needs of older adults.
  • Strategies for improving access to transportation in underserved communities.
  • What can be done at a local, state and national scale to better meet the transportation needs of older adults now and in the future.

This event is made possible through the partnership of AARP AZ, Age Friendly Arizona, and the Vitalyst Health Foundation, with support from the Federal Highway Administration.