To the Editor:
Imagine for a moment that you're one of the vibrant older residents of our community who prizes each of those remaining pieces of independent living life still allows.
Disability or a related health condition now limits your mobility, so you elect a wheeled walker, or perhaps even motorized wheelchair as the "wheels" that get you out for coffee with friends, or to the drugstore, out for groceries, to the library.
In wintertime, you jack up your courage, take a risk, and maneuver through ice, slush, or snow just to get out and gather up what you need. Pleasant seasonal weather makes that a breeze, but wouldn't it feel good to wheel on down to the river or onto some local green space.
But will you be able to get there and back home again safely?
Perhaps you've noticed how the numbers of older seniors requiring and using special modes of transportation is increasing. A glance at the population statistics shows how that number will continue to increase rapidly in coming years. How will we accommodate their needs for safe, efficient, and affordable transportation so they can continue to exercise their independence and move about in our community?
All of us have a stake in how we address the mobility needs of our older residents. The future has a curious way of sneaking up on us all.
Look closely at the face of the person using some mechanized help in getting around town. You'll find that it's your mother, or your brother, or it's you.
Bruce McBeath, Red Wing