Accepting Aging; Deciding Not to Drive

Listen to the Audio: Accepting Aging; Deciding Not to Drive

Hear this discussion from our Longevity Explorers — circles of older adults who meet monthly to explore solutions to the challenges that come with aging.

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from: Longevity Explorers | Cincinnati

Discussion Summary

Growing older in general, and accepting your new life; ‘accepting the new normal’.  

  • For one Explorer, she says she still does the things she’s always done; just not as fast or as well as she used to do years ago.  She also wonders how she got this old; it seems to have snuck up on her.  But, she’s having fun.
  • Another Explorer works in senior real estate.  One piece of advice that she hears frequently from older adults is ‘don’t wait until you are too old’.  They feel that moving to a retirement community can open up many enjoyable activities and opportunities.  Don’t wait until it is too late!!  Socializing and keeping active is so important; more so in some respects than simply being able to age in place.
  • Also, understand that your body is changing.  Canes and walkers can be a big help and you LOOK WORSE by not using them and then falling, etc..  Her husband refused to use a cane/walker; he felt like they make him look too old.  But he has fallen twice when they’ve been out and the Explorer feels like THAT makes you look even worse!!

 

Decisions about driving can also be challenging.  

  • Family members need to be more proactive in policing this.  You wouldn’t want a loved one to have a wreck and hurt themselves or other people because of this. 
  • One Explorer recounts how, for her brother and his poor driving, she had to call his doctor first and inquire about his driving capability.  The doctor then requested her brother take a test, which he failed and thus was not allowed to drive anymore.  Her point, though: She had to initiate the conversation or process.  Then the test was requested.
  • Another Explorer says that her father had a near accident with two of his grandkids in the backseat.  It was his fault and his car ended up in a ditch, but no one was hurt.  He stopped driving immediately after that.  He was afraid he was going to hurt someone.  (He was about 75).
  • Another person adds that part of the challenge of telling a loved one that they should not be driving anymore, is the responsibility and involvement that it might put on you.  When someone can’t drive anymore, family and friends often need to help them arrange for transportation, which takes time and effort.  Some people may be a little reluctant to stop a loved one’s driving because it will mean more time and responsibility on their part in providing or helping with alternative transportation.

 

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aging, driving