Retiring from driving: how to make the transition

By Jonathan Acton - jonathan.acton@homeinstead.ie

Perhaps you can’t imagine your ageing loved one ever giving up driving. When you think about it, maybe it’s tough to contemplate your own life without a day or two behind the wheel.

To understand what it means to give up driving, it’s important first to understand what driving means to an individual.

For some people, it’s not about getting to the supermarket, it’s about how they get to the supermarket.”

Pride of ownership is as important to some as privacy and spontaneity are to others.

This generation of seniors, for instance, is used to the idea of going for a spin.

It’s important to ask more questions and distinguish between necessity and pleasure because that makes a difference in how alternatives are perceived.

Being without wheels doesn’t need to spell isolation.

If an older adult has given up driving, it doesn’t mean that life has lost its meaning or enjoyment.

Nearly half of all former drivers surveyed for Home Instead said that, all things considered, giving up driving had no impact on their lives.

Roughly three in 10 even said they did not miss driving.

Be prepared with new options

Regardless of our age, we all have important things to do and places to be such as family events, doctor appointments and the supermarket.

Home Instead recommends that a senior driver prepares to stop driving, when determined necessary to do so, by coming up with new transportation options.

For example:

• Ask family and friends if they would be willing to be a driver in exchange for a meal out.

• Look for services that cater to those who are no longer driving such as hairdressers and doctors who make house calls, and supermarkets and pharmacies that deliver.

Think outside the box

• Focus on activities that don’t require driving.

• Not all fun activities revolve around driving.

• If a senior is able, consider focusing more attention on activities such as gardening and walking.

If you feel like your loved one would benefit from a companionship service to assist with fun activities, contact our office today,

Home Instead, Marlinstown Business Park, Mullingar - 044 9385260.