Bus Stops as Facilitators of Mobility and Social Connectedness in Older Adults

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Date

2022-05

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The Ohio State University

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Abstract

Social isolation is a major factor in the wellness of aging adults. Many people begin to experience issues with their physical mobility as they age, which can increase their likelihood of social isolation. However, having social connections is very important, as it is one of the key elements to aging well, alongside health, financial security, and adequate housing. This project, developed in conjunction with the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging and the Age Friendly Innovation Center, is centered around the idea of supporting the social connectedness and mobility of older adults in Upper Arlington. In the coming months these organizations will introduce a bus to the city of Upper Arlington, nicknamed the Community Connector, that addresses the needs of older adults by providing rides throughout the neighborhood. As the system grows its ridership, it will decrease the need for older adults to drive their own personal vehicles while encouraging mobility, social connection, and sustainable practices within the neighborhood. This project focuses on the design of a network of bus stops that enhances the experience of using the Community Connector so that it becomes an appealing mode of transportation even for older adults who are still able to drive themselves. The resulting bus stops will become engaging community spaces where all members of the community have the opportunity to form genuine social connections with their neighbors.

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Bus Stop, Older Adults, Mobility, Social Connection, Experience Design

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