U.S. Census data projects that the last of the Baby Boomers will turn 65 in 2029, making up 16% of the total population. Our solution-focused book, Aging America and Transportation; Personal Choices and Public Policy, fills a gap in the literature by addressing the key issues around mobility and transportation for the aging Baby Boomer generation – issues that will be significantly different than those of previous generations of older adults. This new generation, many of whom will continue to work past the traditional retirement age and expect to pursue an active lifestyle, may have to confront new transportation technology, the need to use public transportation, and ways to continue driving safely as their eyesight fades and reaction time slows down. This book explores practical solutions and strategies, such as new transportation options and innovations that will significantly impact the future of mobility for older adults, for keeping these seniors active and mobile well into their later years.
The book’s editors (Joseph Coughlin and Lisa D'Ambrosio) are both at the MIT AgeLab, whose multidisciplinary team designs, develops, and deploys innovations to enhance quality of life for aging populations. They have recently created a new suit to simulate old age – called AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System). Heavy helmets, neck braces and yellow-tinged glasses create the feeling of achy joints, limited mobility and blurred vision. The suit can be worn by students, product developers and engineers for the sake of better design.