OUTDOOR MOBILITY IN FINNISH WOMEN AND MEN AGED 65+
 
Siren, A., University of Helsinki, Finland
 
Driving a car is among the essential factors for older persons to stay mobile, active and healthy. There are however differences between genders in terms of holding driver license and having access to a car. The present study aimed to compare the possibilities, needs and barriers for unrestricted mobility of older Finnish women and men. The study was carried out as a postal survey among Finnish citizens aged 65 and above (N=2500). Response rate was 62%. The results showed that women had the option to drive less often than men did, were more dependent on their physical health and other people for their travel, and had more restricted overall mobility than men. The findings of this study support the fact that the elderly are a heterogeneous group with varying possibilities, resources and needs. The present study implied that gender is one significant demographic factor associated with possibilities for independent mobility.