What led you to write Aging in Suburbia?
My parents lived in Panama City, Florida. The town stretched end-to-end nearly thirty miles. When I moved there as a teenager, I was excited because I had to get my own car to get around. The area we lived in had to sidewalks, no safe place to bike, and no public transportation.
Fast forward forty years, when my parents decided to "age in place." There was still no public transportation (that they could reach) and taxis were non-existent too. As their eyesight and health declined, they still needed to continue to drive.
I wanted to sound an early-warning for Boomers soon to encounter financial and mobility issues- "trapped in place."
You wrote Aging in Suburbia in 2013 and published it in 2014. Are you more optimistic today about senior transportation?
Yes and No....Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have grown extensively since then, even in smaller towns. And, I do more volunteer work these days, and am aware of program that are geared towards the elderly who do not have cars. I just worry that seniors still have a hard time accessing these programs.
Is there anything about the book, Aging in Suburbia, you would change?
I would have made the chapters on the real-estate market and the price of options shorter, and the chapters on transportation longer. But, the demographics are still the same.
What are you working on now?
I work on my blog all the time: www.grayhomesgreencars.com. It is an extension of Aging in Suburbia.
But there have been fewer postings in 2017 because I started writing a new book. It began as an article on distracted driving, but the scope has changed since then. I am excited by the book because the subject is very topical, and it weaves together my readings and research, ever since graduate school, on transportation and telecommunications.
Telecommunications and Transportation?
My PhD is in mass communication from the Annenberg School at Penn and my post-doc is in transportation from UC Irvine. After graduate school I worked for a regional Bell Company that merged into AT&T. But, before I could graduate from Penn, and it was always touch and go, they required that I complete a big assignment on the uniqueness of communication. That essay pulled me through their program, and it inspired the new book.
What is the name of the book?
Not sure yet, but there are candidates! For me, it's like naming one my children. You want to send it out into the world with the best beginning. My goals are for this book to less academic, to turn on all sorts of readers, be found on the Internet, and ignite a dialogue.
When will the book be ready?
Summer 2017 is the timeline. It is not exactly beach reading, but I hope it will be something readers want to think about and talk over before they go on vacation.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR- April, 2017
Jane Gould, PhD
Transportation and Telecommunications
Author, "Aging in Suburbia"