To Continue, Modify or Relinquish Driving: Findings from a Longitudinal Study of Healthy Ageing

Carolyn A Unsworth, Yvonne Wells, Colette Joy Browning, Shane Thomas, Hal Kending

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The number and proportion of drivers among people entering later life continues to rise. More information on patterns of driving for older adults is required to improve service provision and traffic planning. Objectives: To map the changes in driving status for a sample of drivers aged 65 years or older over the period 1994-2000, and to identify factors associated with older people continuing, modifying or relinquishing their status as drivers. Methods: The 752 participants were drawn from the Melbourne Longitudinal Studies on Healthy Ageing (MELSHA) program, a longitudinal study of people aged 65 years and older living in the community. Participants were interviewed or contacted for follow-up in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000 on a range of topics including their health, functional independence and driving status. Results: Although the number of recent drivers was smaller as participants died or were admitted to nursing homes over the 6-year data collection period, relatively few participants relinquished driving while remaining in the community. Many drivers reported modifying their driving habits over time, including decisions to restrict their driving to their local area during daylight only. Relationships were explored between driving status and the key variables of age, gender, marital status, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) independence and self-rated measures of income, health, ......
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423 - 431
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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