Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus along with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report this month examining how health care providers play a key role in often difficult conversations about driving safety and driving retirement with older adults.
Led by Colorado faculty Drs. Emmy Betz and Carolyn DiGuiseppi, and PhD student, Mr. Kenneth Scott, and Dr. Jacqueline Jones, with the CU College of Nursing, the report entitled `Older Adults’ Preferences for Communication with Healthcare Providers About Driving,’ examines how older adults prefer to talk with their healthcare providers about driving safety and planning for future “driving retirement.” They found that healthcare providers play a key role in addressing these questions with older adults, but when and how to have these conversations are complex.
After reviewing the preferences of older adults – in 22 published studies representing 518 older adult drivers – researchers identified five tips to navigate this difficult topic:
Safe mobility is essential to healthy aging. Lifestyle changes, along with innovative technologies and medical advancements will have a significant impact on the driving experiences of the Baby Boomer generation.
Researchers hope the results will inform the future development and refinement of messaging to older drivers, which could support the integration of questioning about driving into routine clinical care. This could also be used by doctors, other healthcare providers, caregivers, driver licensing officials and others to help older drivers make decisions about driving cessation. The full report can be viewed here.
Drs. Betz and DiGuiseppi, and Mr. Scott are all affiliated with the Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research (PIPER), a collaborative initiative of the Colorado School of Public Health, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Children’s Hospital Colorado.