Driving Mobility Affects Seniors' Social Lives, Overall Health

There can be different driving mobility issues that seniors face as they age like being able to drive themselves independently and/or being able to obtain rides. According to a recent study in The Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, elderly drivers who stop driving and have no transportation alternatives become less socially active and risk isolation. This can lead to a decline in both physical and mental health.

With a longer life expectancy, it is important that older adults remain socially engaged. Those who do so have better overall health, experience lower mortality risk over time, and have lower rates of depression, dementia and other cognitive impairments. Social participation is also linked to greater life satisfaction and self-esteem. For these reasons, maintaining participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs is part of healthy, active and successful aging.

Receiving rides can help prolong social participation and is a crucial alternative transportation option for older adults as their own ability to drive declines. Family members, friends and caregivers are often best able to provide flexible, supportive, door-to-door service, with escort assistance that meets the older individual’s changing needs. Senior living centers can also provide transportation for daily living activites, social outings, and on-site activities for social participation.

The need for the development of transportation alternatives that are accessible and non-stigmatizing is continuing to grow. These options facilitate continued participation without older adults feeling burdensome or risking their safety (and the safety of others) with prolonged self-driving.

At Elder Law of Omaha, we specialize in assisting with the legal issues that affect seniors and their loved ones. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer FREE 30 minute attorney consultations. Call (402) 614-6400 or visit our website at www.elderlawomaha.com.

This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.


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