Food for Thought

Take a look at some food for thought items below and post a comment.


Looking to create understanding among people who walk, bicycle, and drive?

Informal community meetings offer a place for people to share their perceptions and experiences walk travelling. See Share the Road by Sharing the Room to learn how and access materials.


Do designated parking spaces for older adults make sense?

A grocery store in Moab, UT sets aside parking spaces for older adults across from those for people with disabilities. Are the spaces a courtesy to older adults or are they for those that have mobility limits but don't have handicapped license plates or hangtag?

SRTS plans can make a difference. See how Tucson replaced this sad pedestrian bridge because the school's SRTS plan said it was a priority.

See this recent article on the need for walkable, bikeable cities, especially for older adults.


Delivery robots are making a big splash in one northwest DC neighborhood. Read about how they fare as pedestrians and add your thoughts.

Vulnerable, yet Wise

COVID-19 may result in a step back in our thinking about older adults due to the increased level of vulnerability to the virus. Many older adults take this risk to heart and remain at home, steering well away from others. Yet, many older adults who accept their increased vulnerability are committed to remaining active as a way stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. They are walking, gardening, cycling, and participating in online classes. Instead of viewing them as simply Vulnerable, we should view these older adults as Wise.

Click the Deeper Dive button below to read more on how to re-think how we think about older adults.

Dignity, Self-determination as We Age

While listening to a COVID-19 weekly update on NPR recently, I took note of the language used in a story about now 'we' need to handle older adults during the pandemic. My hackles immediately went up because of the implication that older adults cannot make decisions for themselves; that they are a problem to be resolved by younger, more capable people.

But, the story was a ruse, intended to point out this wrong-headed approach. I cannot find the broadcast, but did fine this piece that offers 9 tips for partnering with older adults during COVID-19.

Ellyn A Lem's Persepctive piece in the September 22, 2020 Washington Post offers similar advice, beginning with the headline: Often, the elderly handle the pandemic very well. She notes that isolation we are all experiencing due to COVID-19 is not new to many older adults. Ms. Lem concludes with a lesson learned from a movement included in her inter-generational water tai chi class "accepting with grace": Many older adults there and elsewhere already have mastered this timeless ideal. Also see health-science@washpost.com