Quality of life for the elderly: the transport dimension

Banister, David and Bowling, Ann (2004) Quality of life for the elderly: the transport dimension. Transport Policy, 11(2), pp. 105-115. ISSN (print) 0967-070X


The concept of quality of life is elusive and this paper reports on a study that has tried to deconstruct the concept in order to better understand what older people say quality of life means to them. The focus here is on the transport dimension where quality of life is broken down into mobility patterns, locality and social networks. The paper first sets the scene with a summary of secondary data and it then systematically presents data from interviews carried out with 1000 older people as part of the British Office for National Statistics Omnibus Surveys in Britain under the three headings mentioned above. A substantial amount of diversity and variation is found in the data by quality of life ratings and the expectations of the respondents. It is argued that both the active (travel related) and passive (locality and social networks) elements need to be brought together so that the quality of life for the elderly can be better understood.

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