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New study encourages elderly drivers to get back behind the wheel

According to a new study, pensioners should stop being passengers and take up the wheel again, as driving a car could help combat dementia and keep older people healthy.

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New study encourages elderly drivers to get back behind the wheel

According to a new study, pensioners should stop being passengers and take up the wheel again, as driving a car could help combat dementia and keep older people healthy.

Driving into our later years is being advised as a way of warding off cognitive decline and leading more active lives in retirement.

For those with mobility issues, the use of a car is undoubtedly more convenient than relying on transport links and while our trusty stairlift helps us move around at home, getting out and about is a crucial part of having a more fulfilling lifestyle later on.

While the elderly often to choose to retire from the road, either as a result of failing eyesight or other health implications, stopping driving altogether may lead to more of a decline in our health.

As we get older our confidence on the road takes a knock and it’s easy to see why so many mature motorists may opt out. But now, a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society claims that driving can not only improve our day to day quality of life but could count towards our health too.

The study, carried out by Professor Dr Guohua Li and his peers at Columbia University in New York, discovered that continuing to drive after 65 can in fact help people to stay alert for longer and may help to prevent the symptoms of dementia.

It may also help older drivers to maintain a greater sense of independence and comparing stairlifts and car seats, more options for those with mobility concerns outside the home.

Professor Li explains: “When the decision time comes, it is important to take into consideration the adverse health consequences of driving cessation and make personalised plans to maintain mobility and social functions.

“For many older adults, driving is instrumental to their daily living and is a strong indicator of self-control, personal freedom and independence.”

Image Credit: Seabamirum (flickr.com)

 

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