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Coping without a car

7 July 2005

Media Statement

Coping without a car

Older people who stop driving can remain independent and do the things they enjoy if they plan ahead and have a positive attitude, Senior Citizens Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Launching the pamphlet, ‘How will you get around when you stop driving?’ at Parliament, Ms Dyson said older people’s quality of life depended on being able to get around easily when they could no longer drive.

“For most of us, stopping driving is part of getting older. We can maintain our quality of life, but we need to be well-prepared. Alternatives include getting lifts from family and friends; using taxis, public transport or community ride-share programmes; walking; using a mobility scooter; keeping your car for others to drive you; or moving house to be closer to transport and other services.

Ms Dyson said ‘How will you get around when you stop driving?’ was based on research by the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing.

“The research found that an older person’s health, social networks and perhaps most importantly, their attitude, had a huge effect on how well they coped without a car. That’s why publications like this are so valuable, encouraging people to plan, think ahead and find out what is available in their community.”

Ruth Dyson said the Labour-Progressive government’s vision for older people was set out in its Positive Ageing Strategy, and the Total Mobility scheme was a practical example of government support for older people’s independence.

“The Total Mobility scheme enables people who can’t use public transport because of a disability to travel in taxis at a reduced rate. A review of the scheme is almost completed, which will lead to further improvements.”

‘How will you get around when you stop driving?’ was produced by the Office for Senior Citizens, with input from Volunteer Community Coordinators and community focus groups. Copies will be widely distributed.

ENDS

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