Global Resources

Gender and transport for older people

Publisher: HelpAge International
Publication Date: Jan 2002
Consultations with poor older people in developing countries, have shown that transport is a major concern for older people. Problems with transport create a real barrier to older women and men accessing basic social services and participating in local activities. Transport problems are often related to older people's lack of finances to pay for transport to health centres, markets, pension collection points, meetings and social activities, leading to increased feelings of isolation. Another problem facing older people in public transport is age-related abuse, in the form of pushing and shoving by other passengers. Furthermore, when transport is interrupted due to natural disasters or conflict, older people are often the most marginalised because they are less mobile. They are often left behind - unwilling or unable to travel, or missed by emergency response provisions as they cannot reach relief points or find it difficult to queue. HelpAge policies have begun to address some of these transport issues. For example, HelpAge India has developed a programme of mobile medical units to provide primary healthcare services for older people who are not mobile or who do not live near a healthcare centre. In Northern Iraq, HelpAge International has been collecting medicines for older people as part of a home-visiting programme, while seeking longer-term solutions to the lack of transportation which prevents them from attending health centres.