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Cities Adapting to Older Populations

Cities with high populations of older adults are beginning to alter their programs and street signs to make it easier to respond to senior citizens' needs.
August 5, 2011, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Ahead of a federal mandate that will kick in in 2012, Aiken has begun installing oversize street signs downtown and on major thoroughfares; they have increased reflectivity as well, designed to help older drivers who may not see as well as they used to.

In Mayfield, Ohio (23.8 percent over age 65), the large number of seniors who no longer drive threatened to swamp a program offering $3 rides for older people to doctor's offices, shopping and the like. Says Stacey O'Brien, director of the Tri-City Consortium on Aging, "The demand is far greater than we anticipated." After analyzing people's travel patterns and consulting with the managers of complexes with high senior populations, the consortium is making plans to move away from what has essentially been a taxi system and toward a scheduled shuttle that would run a loop among set locations such as grocery stores and medical facilities."

The U.S. population older than 65 is expected to nearly double by 2050.

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Published on Monday, August 1, 2011 in The Washington Post
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