237448 Engaging older adults (using Video and PhotoVoice) as effective health advocates for increased access, safe mobility, physical activity and access to goods and services

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:48 AM

Rhianna Babka, MSW, MPH , California WALKS, Oakland, CA
Wendy Alfsen , California WALKS, Berkeley, CA
As the population ages, more and more older adults will become non-drivers, and many will walk for both transportation and physical activity. Unfortunately, walking is not always safe for older adults. In the US, persons 65 years of age and older have the highest pedestrian fatality rate than any other age group, with 803 fatalities and serious 9,000 injuries (2008). In addition, falls are the leading cause of injury death for older adults, and it is estimated that in 2007 over 18,000 older adults died from falls (CDC). Improving the pedestrian environment can help mitigate pedestrian-auto related injuries and fatalities as well as falls from inadequate/unmaintained pedestrian facilities that contribute to functional decline and death among older adults. Expanded walking by older adults improves physical and mental health.

California WALKS is working with communities throughout California to directly engage older adults as effective community advocates to improve their environment and increase the walkability of their communities. This presentation will highlight case studies from work in Alhambra and Oakland, California.

We will discuss successful strategies employed in engaging older adults. Specific strategies include workshops, political support, media involvement, existing conditions - pedestrian and vehicle volume and other health data collection, VideoVoice, PhotoVoice, civic engagement and policy advocacy. We will provide an overview of the two communities, outcomes, and lessons learned in working with the older adult population.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate elements of conducting a community older adult pedestrian safety engagement workshop. 2. Identify lessons learned, understanding of local challenges and local action priorities in community-based older adult walkability work. 3. Identify strategies for a successful older adult pedestrian/walkability program in other communities.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Community Participation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Rhianna Babka works with California WALKS to coordinate and support the California WALKS statewide network and community engagement in local, regional, and statewide healthy and active transportation advocacy. Ms. Babka has facilitated numerous workshops throughout California focused on engaging youth and communities of color to become effective and empowered advocates for safe and healthy transportation. Ms. Babka completed her MSW and MPH at UC Berkeley and focused on healthy and active transportation for older adults of all mobility and ability levels. Ms. Babka has presented at National and Statewide conferences including the Transportation Research Board (2008 & 2009), American Public Health Association (2008 &2010), Moving Children Safely Conference (2010) and the LA Streets Summit (2010).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.