Now, University of Missouri researchers have studied how aging adults’ driving cessation influences their work and social lives. The researchers found that seniors’ loss of driving independence negatively affected their ability to work and their volunteerism; the adults’ social lives were not instantly affected yet dwindled over time.
“We found that seniors’ productive engagement, such as paid work and formal volunteering, decreased when they stopped driving; however, adults’ ability to connect with people in their immediate environments was not immediately compromised by their transitions to non-driver status,” said Angela Curl, an assistant professor of social work at MU and the study’s lead author.
Planning for driving cessation should happen well before older adults have to give up their car keys, and advance planning can help seniors remain active in society after they quit driving, Curl said.
“Often when individuals stop driving, their health and happiness decline,” Curl said. “For seniors, engaging more in their communities is linked to maintained health, lower rates of depression and financial benefits, and this is why adults need to better prepare before they quit driving.”
For smoother transitions to non-driver status, Curl suggested older adults think about alternative transportation options early on and include their family members in the conversations.
“Older adults have a tendency to think about driving cessation as something for other people, or they think of quitting driving as so far in the future, that they postpone planning,” Curl said. “Finally, when seniors do start thinking about quitting driving, it’s too late, and they’re panicked and overwhelmed thinking about all the freedoms they will lose.”
Many seniors lack appropriate driving alternatives, such as finding rides or using public transportation; yet, Curl found that many older adults will not ask their families for support during this time because they don’t want to become burdens. Family members should offer their help to their aging loved ones instead of waiting to be asked, Curl said.
“One way for aging adults to help ease the transition to not driving is to take public transportation once a month as practice before completely losing mobility status or to relocate to a retirement center that provides private transportation to its residents,” Curl said.
The Gerontologist published Curl’s article, “Giving up the Keys: How Driving Cessation Affects Engagement in Later Life,” earlier this year. Other MU researchers, James Stowe, Teresa Cooney and Christine Proulx co-authored the study. The School of Social Work is part of the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences.
Jesslyn Chew | EurekAlert!
Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College
Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering