Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Drivers and aging...something to think about

It seems everyone has a story about an older member of the family and the driving issue....and the heartache, anger, frustration, and worry that can come out of this concern. I'm pretty sure I'll be one of those people who is both terrified and enraged about losing my licence one day, if it comes to that, and wonder how to change that attitude into something healthier.
So, it was good to hear from Holly Tuokko, Director of the Centre on Aging at the University of Victoria, that she's seeing some changes in attitudes over the years, as she studies the driving and aging issue. Holly says people are now more willing to discuss "driving retirement" and think about options. Well, it's a step in the right direction, but we need to look at lots more driving alternatives, along with ways to keep our driving safe for as long as possible. Holly is taking part in a five-year study trying to pinpoint when our driving is becoming unsafe, and what we can do about it.....sounds good in theory, but I'm thinking of how car dependent we are...and hoping for innovative, creative thinkers to come up with suggestions...yesterday! About the best I can come up with is moving to an area where you can walk to most services, but how many of us can or will do that?
I feel too for the doctors, caught in the middle with patients who have always trusted them, but are now fearful that it's that same doctor who may take away their licence. What a breach of trust that must feel like too! The doctors hate being caught in this bind. So, for now, we worry about our parents' driving....and then think about what will happen when it's our turn next!

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