A new study revealed that driving can ward off dementia. Driving encourages the driver to stay alert as well as giving them a feeling of self-control, personal freedom and independence and prevents cognitive decline.
The use of car can also make the difference for many pensioners without good public transport links to get out and about and be more active.
‘For older people who give up driving, mental and physical health declines leading to several other issues such as depression.’
It also found that when older motorists have to give up driving, their mental and physical health declines and can lead to wider issues such as depression.
Columbia University's Guohua Li said, "for many older adults, driving is instrumental to their daily living and is a strong indicator of self-control, personal freedom and independence."
"Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable to face the decision to stop driving during the process of aging as cognitive and physical functions continue to decline."
He noted that when the decision time comes, it is important to take into consideration the adverse health consequences of driving cessation and make personalized plans to maintain mobility and social functions.
The study appears in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.