Monday, July 15, 2024

Strategies for Supporting Older Adults Transitioning from Driving to Driving Cessation

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As the population in many Western countries continues to age, the dependency of older adults on private vehicles remains significant. However, the transition from active driving to driving cessation is an often-overlooked aspect of aging. This article delves into effective interventions and strategies designed to aid older adults in this critical transition, emphasizing the importance of proactive planning and multiple stakeholder involvement.

Comprehensive Research on Driving Cessation

The study conducted an exhaustive search across nine databases, employing key terms related to older adult drivers and driving cessation. From an initial pool of 9,807 titles and abstracts, a rigorous screening process was undertaken using the Covidence platform. This process narrowed the field to 206 papers for detailed review. Ultimately, twelve papers were selected for full-text screening and data extraction, including three papers that featured evidence-based intervention programs and nine that outlined evidence-informed strategies.

Key Findings and Implications

The research identified three controlled studies that met the criteria for programs designed to support older adults in ceasing driving. Additionally, nine exploratory or descriptive studies were found, presenting strategies to assist older drivers, their families, and healthcare professionals. These studies highlighted the importance of a proactive approach, involving multiple stakeholders and focusing on collaborative decision-making.

The study’s findings were categorized into six themes: reluctance and avoidance of the topic, the necessity of involving multiple stakeholders, the importance of a proactive approach, the need to shift the focus from assessment to planning, the value of collaborative decision-making, and the importance of engaging in alternative transportation planning. These themes underscore the complexity of the transition process and the need for comprehensive support systems.

Valuable Inferences

Concrete Inferences:

  • Effective driving cessation programs must involve healthcare providers, family members, and the older adults themselves to ensure a collaborative approach.
  • A proactive approach in addressing driving cessation can significantly reduce the reluctance and avoidance often seen among older adults.
  • Shifting the focus from mere assessment to proactive planning can facilitate a smoother transition and better acceptance of driving cessation.

Meeting the transportation needs of older adults is crucial for supporting aging in place and ensuring continued mobility and participation in out-of-home activities. This is particularly important in developed countries, where there is a high reliance on personal vehicles. By employing proactive and collaborative strategies, the transition from driving to driving cessation can be managed more effectively, enhancing the quality of life for older adults.

Original Article:

Innov Aging. 2024 Jun 3;8(6):igae054. doi: 10.1093/geroni/igae054. eCollection 2024.


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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In most western countries, older adults depend on private cars for transportation and do not proactively plan for driving cessation. The objective of this review was to examine current research studies outlining effective interventions and strategies to assist older adults during their transition from driver to driving retirement or cessation.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A search was completed across 9 databases using key words and MeSH terms for drivers, cessation of driving, and older adult drivers. Eligibility screening of 9,807 titles and abstracts, followed by a detailed screening of 206 papers, was completed using the Covidence platform. Twelve papers were selected for full-text screen and data extraction, comprising 3 papers with evidence-based intervention programs and 9 papers with evidence-informed strategies.

RESULTS: Three papers met the research criteria of a controlled study for programs that support and facilitate driving cessation for older adults. Nine additional studies were exploratory or descriptive, which outlined strategies that could support older drivers, their families, and/or healthcare professionals during this transition. Driving retirement programs/toolkits are also presented.

DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: The driver retirement programs had promising results, but there were methodological weaknesses within the studies. Strategies extracted contributed to 6 themes: Reluctance and avoidance of the topic, multiple stakeholder involvement is important, taking proactive approach is critical, refocus the process away from assessment to proactive planning, collaborative approach to enable “ownership” of the decision is needed, and engage in planning alternative transportation should be the end result. Meeting the transportation needs of older adults will be essential to support aging in place, out-of-home mobility, and participation, particularly in developed countries where there is such a high dependency on private motor vehicles.

PMID:38948542 | PMC:PMC11212369 | DOI:10.1093/geroni/igae054

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