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Good old habits

Mobility and social ties improve seniors’ life

Currently, 100 million people of the world's population are more than 80 years old, and in 2050 there will be four times as many. France alone has about 15 million people over 60, and they are expected to reach 24 million by 2060. One out of every two people over 70 lives alone and as many as 92% of subjects over 75 years continues to live at home. In addition, research carried out in France and Germany by Europ Assistance shows that 79% of the French and 80% of the Germans, among the older population, think that it does not need any kind of help. These numbers show their desire to continue to be independent longer and to maintain their social ties, in addition to the increased confidence of seniors towards their autonomy. In this context, it is interesting to take a look at the methods most commonly used by seniors to move around and be really involved in social activities, if it is true that the intention of many of them is to seek assistance as late as possible, in particular towards 75-80 years.

Despite public transport being used by 5.1% of people aged over 65 years, today the elderly are more accustomed to the convenience and use of cars. In 2008, about 78% of people over 65 years held a driver's license, but today the figure is on the rise, especially among women, and cars have become, on average, the leading means of transportation. Only 3.2% of people aged between 64 and 75 use bicycles: most of them complaining, in fact, that their physical condition is unsuitable, despite the fact that it is a great way to keep fit and maintain good health. The good news is, however, how many of them walk to get around: on average 39.7% among those over 75, compared with 22.3% of the entire population. With the loss of the independence of using a car, walking naturally becomes the most viable alternative transportation option.

The important fact, however, remains that most of their travel is for shopping and activities such as sports and volunteer work, as proof of how strongly seniors are bound to society and how much they can be a valuable resource.