Published on March 12, 2014
Preparing for change - rural transport and an ageing population Dr. Roger O’Sullivan, CARDI 30 January 2014
Structure of presentation 1. Introduction to CARDI 2. Demographic Context 3. Ageing: Health, Wealth and Well Being 4. Transport & ageing research 5. Selection of findings 6. Concluding Comments
The work of CARDI • All-Ireland perspective • Cross-discipline focus • Promotes research to inform policy and practice • Research Translation 3
Success of Public Health • In 2012 there were 273,000 (15%) people aged 65+ in NI (NISRA). • By 2041 the number of people aged 65+ in NI will reach almost half a million (496,000) , almost one quarter of the total population (24.5%) (NISRA). • Average life expectancy in NI is 76.3 years for men and 81.3 years for women (NISRA).
Population pyramid 2014 20441984
Life expectancy at age 65 - NI
Demographic change 8 Source: NISRA
… and projected to 2056 9 Source: NISRA
Chances of living to 100 • Born 1852: 1 in 3800 • Born 1896: 1 in 310 • Born 2013: 1 in 3
Ageing in place sub-regional variations
Understanding ageing • Health • Wealth • Well Being & Participation
Unhealthy life expectancy at 65 - NI 13 7.1 7.1 7.0 6.7 6.9 7.2 7.4 7.4 7.8 8.7 8.7 8.6 8.6 8.6 9.0 8.9 9.2 9.3 2000-02 2001-03 2002-04 2003-05 2004-06 2005-07 2006-08 2007-09 2008-10 Unhealthy life expectancy in NI at age 65 (years) Male Female Source: ONS
Living longer but not always healthier lives • People in NI aged 50+ are twice as likely to report being disabled compared to ROI (Savva et al 2011). • 18% of people aged over 50 in NI suffer from two or more chronic conditions compared to 11% in ROI e.g. diabetes, arthritis, asthma, heart disease (Savva et al 2011). • 70% of people in NI aged 75+ report a longstanding illness (Health Survey NI 2010 – 2011). • Currently 19,000 people with dementia in NI and rise to 60,000 by 2051 – affects 1 in 3 over 80 (DHSSPS 2010).
A story of two parts
Comparison of income of NI pensioner couples
Wealth - The over 50s in the UK • Hold 60% of the UK Savings • Represent 80% of the UK’s disposable wealth • Responsible for 40% of consumer demand • Spend £200 billion per year (Source: Oxford Institute of Ageing)
Well Being & Participation
If you want to reach 100, start making friends now! • “The Blue Zone - lessons for living longer from the people who have lived the longest” by Dan Buettner (2008) 20
Rural social exclusion Walsh et al. (2012) indicators of social exclusion in rural Ireland: • security, safety and crime • income and financial resources • social connections and social resources • Services • transport and mobility
Ageing in place
Public and community transport for older people in rural Ireland – North & South Methods employed: • Literature review • Policy review • Interviews • International case studies
“Transport and mobility are an essential aspect of everyday life - they keep people connected and give them the ability to live independently. There are fears that a growing focus on strictly economic arguments will lead to a reduction in services in rural areas….” (Breen 2014). Why this research:
Objectives of the research: • To analyse policy on public transport and community transport, North and South, with a focus on older people, to identify potential strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improving rural transport. • To review public transport and community transport in rural Ireland, including interviews with key stakeholders, to determine what are the current successes and challenges. • To examine current data on rural transport across the island of Ireland. • To provide international examples of innovation in rural transport, with a particular focus on cost-neutral or cost effective solutions. • To develop policy recommendations to improve transport in rural areas.
Overarching findings • At a strategic level policy and service provision needs to prepare for an ageing population • At a local level public and community transport should recognise the increasingly diverse needs of an ageing population in terms of transport which may differ on a geographical basis • Integration of public and community transport services can help to develop efficient and cost-effective rural transport • Data deficits in terms of transport need addressed eg detailed information on older people’s reasons for travel and transport patterns can help inform better policy and planning; total cost of rural transport provision
Summary of NI rural transport links
Summary of ROI rural transport links
Selection of findings - transport • As people age they are less likely to travel – but this trend is very marked for people with disabilities in rural areas in ROI (NDA, 2014) • In ROI negative perception of public transport increased as an individual’s geographic location became more rural: over 70% of the rural population reporting the local public transport system as poor compared to fewer than 20% in Dublin (TILDA) • The lack of suitable, accessible information is one of the barriers that makes travel difficult for disabled people and older people in NI (INTAC 2012) e.g. the over-55s in NI are less likely to have broadband than those in the rest of the UK (Ofcom,2012).
Will we drive our way out of this? • A key challenge in providing and planning rural transport is that both in ROI and NI the majority of journeys are made by private car. • While this does not pose a problem for people who can and want to continue to drive as they age , it is a challenge for those who do not drive or can no longer drive or have no access to a lift from family or friends. • Concealed need, diminished or used services
Gender and Mobility: Driving licences
Learning from international innovation – ITN America • Not for profit that provides door-to-door transport for thousands of older people across the US • System is built around credits: – Older people can earn and store up in order to provide for their own future transport needs. – Earned by volunteering, trading in your cars, gift certificates • Older people can earn the transport that they require when they are no longer driving through volunteering. It provides a door to door service that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. • Additional funding comes from corporate sponsorship, and assistance is available for older people with low incomes.
Learning from international innovation – Transport for NSW • Transport for NSW is an integrated transport authority in New South Wales, Australia • All decision making for planning and policy is centralised • Organisation has control over all forms of transport • Formed specifically to challenge the “silo mentality” (where government departments and agencies were not co- operating fully) • Community Transport programme targets people whose access to mainstream transport services is limited by physical, social or geographical factors – Centrally co-ordinated by Transport for NSW but local providers operate the services
Innovation in policy – lessons for transport • Policy decisions need to address the causes of problems in society, as opposed to addressing symptoms of a wider problem and measures are sustainable over the longer term, both socially and financially
Recommendations: key messages • Greater integration of existing services eg health transport, home-to-school transport , community transport • Greater cross sectorial partnerships eg government , business and voluntary & community sector • Increase community and passenger involvement in planning of local services
Concluding Comments • We need to recognise the diversity of older people’s transport requirements today and in the future • “NI as an age friendly region” – what does this mean to transport provision • Decreasing budgets mean better use of current resources – not easy! • Innovation in policy and learning from international practice are vital – But: changes must be sustainable in long-term
Follow-up To download the full report and for more information on CARDI or on ageing research generally see www.cardi.ie Thank you for your time and interest
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