Tribune Print Share Text

Can you stay active if you don't drive?

Created date

November 26th, 2013
Couple driving a convertible car

Worsening eyesight or a chronic health condition could mean you need to give up driving. Many people know that this can put a serious dent in their routine, and now researchers have found out exactly in which areas of life it has the most impact.

A University of Missouri study found that when seniors stopped driving, their participation in paid work and volunteer activities decreased the most. Their social activities, however, were not immediately affected but did in fact decrease over time.

Shifting into non-driver status

Stopping activities and obligations can lead to less social contact, more isolation, and a greater risk of depression. The study’s authors say preparation is the key to minimizing how much transitioning to a non-driver can affect your health and well-being. Because people may have to stop driving sooner than they think, many don’t plan alternative transportation in advance.

Investigating social activities closer to home is an important part of preparing, as is finding alternative transportation. Plan to get around using a sedan service, public transportation, a volunteer organization, or make arrangements with family members.