Royce Shook

2 years ago · 1 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Healthy Ageing 3

Back in 2011, the Ministry of Health for British Columbia looked at what the literature said about healthy ageing. Here is some of what was in this report which was called Planning for Healthy Ageing A Literature Review, written by Eleanor Kallio, Senior Policy Analyst, Research, Knowledge Translation and Library Services Branch, Planning and Innovation Division, Ministry of Health, Victoria, British Columbia, published in 2011.

Transportation

Mobility outside the home is important for many reasons. It enables people to maintain social connections, participate in the community, and fulfill personal needs, and it supports independence and choice. An active lifestyle can help the older adult to retain driving capacity longer since physical frailty and associated health issues commonly force driving cessation

Addressing driver fitness in older adults is often sensitive. Often people are dependent on driving and uninformed about alternatives; consequently, they feel they need to keep driving. There are safety concerns with older drivers, such as slow reaction time, driving too slowly, and not paying attention to pedestrians. Older drivers are better at identifying vision and fatigue problems, as opposed to cognitive function declines. Factors that may compromise the older adult’s driving ability include changes in the visual field, reduced hearing ability, decreased strength, coordination and flexibility, and medication side effects.

It is useful to assess driving ability in mid-life, and there are self-assessment tests readily available. Being proactive and informed about alternatives means that changes can be accommodated and lifestyle minimally disrupted when driving ceases. The older adult will live about 7 – 10 years beyond their driving ability, so anticipating future transportation matters.


The reality is since 2011 the issue of senior transportation has gotten worse, not better as the government cut funding to many of the services available to seniors.


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