It’s predicted that by the year 2030 the number of drivers over age 85 will be 4–5 times what it is today. However, roads and automobiles are not designed for an aging population. Some skills and abilities needed for driving can diminish with age many seniors and their caregivers might be looking for alternate forms of transportation now and into the future.
Losing The Ability To Drive
No one plans on a time when they will no longer be able to drive. In fact, we all probably assume that we will know when to stop driving. Most of us, however, may never realize that it’s time to stop driving. So, when faced with the reality of terminated driving privileges, we can understand why an older adult may become defensive of his or her ability and right to drive. Even seniors who begin to realize that driving may pose a threat to themselves and others can struggle with the question of whether or not to give up driving. Caregiver, also struggle with when and how to tell their loved one that they need to restrict or terminate driving activities.
The Downside to Not Diving
Sadly, a non-driving individual feels that they must plan around others’ schedules, and that trips are increasingly made out of necessity rather than for social reasons. These feelings can make it hard for seniors asking family and friends for transportation. This may be especially true if the senior has always been independent and self-sufficient. They may feel that transportation is a favour that can’t be repaid.
Public transit is becoming and more accessible and easier to use. However, it doesn’t work for everyone. Programs such as Wheel Trans in the GTA are helping thousands of people everyday get around for the cost of TTC token. Many other transit programs are available for those needing transportation. Talk to your Dr or healthcare team to find out where these programs exist in your community. The key to remember is taking a different form of transportation doesn’t take away independence —in fact many people who use other forms of transportation feel pride in their own ability to get around safely themselves.
The Upside to Alternative Transportation
While taking the keys away from a senior can help them stay safe, it may also improve their overall health, according to a recent UK study. By encouraging the use of public transportation, seniors may also be more physically active. The study, found that people ages 60 and over who alternative transportation reported they walked more than they did in when they drove. Perhaps, talking with your loved one about some of the interesting benefits to not driving they might be more open stopping or limiting their driving.
CANES is here to Help
Ride Connect provides transportation to and from Etobicoke, Brampton, Malton, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown and Woodbridge areas. Our client base is primarily seniors and clients with disabilities. We specialize in rides to and from medical appointments, as well as grocery shopping and adult day programs.
Learn more about Ride Connect: https://www.canes.on.ca/services/ride-connect-transportation