Unmet travel needs and quality of life of rural elderly in osun state, Nigeria

Moses Olaniran Olawole

Abstract


Mobility is fundamental to economic development, social inclusion and quality of life of the elderly. Available studies on mobility of the elderly in Nigeria are limited on the degree of knowledge they provide on issues such as travel demand, unmet travel needs and the impact of transport services on quality of life of the elderly in rural areas. This paper explores mobility characteristics, unmet travel needs and the impacts of travel characteristics on the quality of life of rural elderly in Osun State, Nigeria. Data were obtained using questionnaire survey through multistage sampling techniques from 273 elderly in 60 rural settlements. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for the data analysis. The results showed that trips generated vary across trip purposes with work trips accounting for the highest trip generated. Travel distance was found to be within 1 km distance of respondents’ residence and accounted for 76.28% total trip travel distance. Walking was the primary mode of travel for the trips to work/farm (48.36%), religious centres (85.42%) and relative (93.57%). The study also showed that 30.77% of the elderly rated their quality of life poor and another 37.36% very poor. Most of the elderly who with poor and very poor quality of life also experienced high rate of unmet travel needs. The study identified unmet travel needs include trips to: work (18.68%), hospital (24.91%), religious (24.91%), relative (11.36%) and other trips (20.14%). The reasons identified as responsible for the unfulfilled travel needs include bad roads, poor health, unreliable transport services, behavior of transport services providers, irregular transport services and issues of safety. The study concluded that the varied travel needs and challenges of the elderly can be improve through a realistic understanding of the needs, using strategies that forge partnerships between and among public and private stakeholders in the transport sectors. 


Keywords


Mobility, unmet travel needs, elderly, rural areas, Nigeria

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11564/31-1-992

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