In older adults, declining health is a major reason they stop driving. But when they stop driving, what impact does this have on their subsequent health and well-being?
A new review of published studies indicates that driving cessation in older adults may contribute to a variety of health problems, especially depression.
“For many older adults, driving is instrumental to their daily living and is a strong indicator of self-control, personal freedom, and independence. Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable to face the decision to stop driving during the process of aging as cognitive and physical functions continue to decline,” said Dr. Guohua Li, senior author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study and professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “When the decision time comes, it is important to take into consideration the adverse health consequences of driving cessation and make personalized plans to maintain mobility and social functions.”