New Research Finds That When Seniors Stop Driving Their Mental And Physical Well-Being May Decline.
Giving up the car keys, one of the most difficult decisions faced in later years. It is also a sensitive issue for adult children knowing when to initiate the topic with their elderly parents. Driving a vehicle, while offering an inherent sense of freedom and independence, can become tremendously dangerous. This risk is due to a variety of factors linked to getting older. And letting go of that independence for safety’s sake can feel defeating. Besides this, there is now the need to take into consideration the latest studies that giving up driving could lead to both mental and physical decline. This determination leads to a vicious cycle of diminishing health when seniors stop driving. This loss causes additional elderly care issues due to further solitude, depression, and less physical activity.
The research, publicized by The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that seniors who relinquished their driving rights became two times as likely to end up with intensifying depression, less physical functioning, and more significant decline in cognitive abilities. And even more concerning, after seniors stop driving, they were more likely to die within the following 3-5 year time-frame.
Senior researcher for the study and founding director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University Medical Center, Doctor Guohua Li, makes clear, “This is a very complex issue and a sensitive balance, and the pros and cons of not driving need to be weighed on a case-by-case basis.”
In some instances, limiting driving during particular conditions can help ease the transition into giving up the keys entirely. First, confer with the senior’s physician, and with approval, try reducing driving in the nighttime, in bad weather, and in busier traffic.
Dr. Marian Betz, a spokesperson for the American Federation for Aging Research, emphasizes the need for elderly to continue being involved in their community and to keep as mobile and socially engaged as possible. Friends and families can seek opportunities for an aging loved one. He suggests looking into local senior centers, exercise programs, volunteering, etc. for activities.
Driving is synonymous with independence for seniors, but age-related changes can make hitting the road dangerous. Fortunately, there is a focus on future advances in elderly design thinking. For the present, read more about transportation alternatives for when seniors stop driving.
Also, consider elderly home care professionals such as Hibernian Home Care. They offer a helpful solution: safe, reliable transportation and accompaniment services. This service allows seniors the independence and determines when and where they this wish to go. Most importantly, not placing themselves or other people in harm’s way. Hibernian Home Care works with each senior to develop a customized care plan, enabling the individual to remain in control. Fill out the Contact Us web form, or call 732-481-1148 to learn more.