Transportation Options Increase for Metro Detroiters
Our weekly colloquium recently hosted Executive Director, Lori Fidler, from the new ITNMetroDetroit transportation network. ITNAmerica is the first and only national nonprofit that focuses on transportation for older adults (they offer services for all ages). This is the first of twenty-two ITN locations to come to the Motor City. I took comfort in learning that this type of service would be available to older adults in the Metro Detroit area. Specifically because….
A 2009 needs assessment conducted by myself and Tom Jankowski found that transportation was the greatest unmet need of older adults in the Tri-County area; surpassing general financial assistance, housing, and medical help! Five-hundred pages of transcriptions included a lot of profound statements from participants about their need for social interaction and options to travel to interact with others, “…it’s that togetherness. That’s all I want.” Another focus group participant said, “The companionship is very important a lot of times because there’s a lot of people that are lonely. They don’t have anybody and what not and it’s always good to sit down and talk to somebody. It’s always good to talk and then look…just companionship is very important.”
When older adults are forced to think about “hanging up the keys” or “driving retirement,” a lot of their independence is at risk. “Ironically, Detroit, known as the Motor City, and home to three major automobile manufacturers, is probably the largest metropolitan area in the country without a well-developed system of mass transportation” according to ITNMetroDetroit and they’re right. I know few people under the age of 60 that rely on public transportation as a means to travel from place to, let alone those that are over the age of 60 that need assistance getting on, off and to the door of their destination.
While this might not solve all our transportation issues, it’s great to know options for keeping connected are increasing. Offering transportation options is a good start to helping older adults age in place in Michigan.
A brief video introduction to Lori Fidler and ITNMetroDetroit click here.
For more about our IOG weekly colloquium visit click here.
To download our full Needs Assessment visit our Seniors Count! website.