15 Jun CU Study Reports That Doctors Should Speak to Elderly about Driving (Part 1)
Medical professionals are not discussing potential driving impairments that may be caused by deteriorating physical health with their elderly patients early enough, a recently published study is now reporting. The study, which was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, was initiated and overseen by researchers at the Colorado University School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Although the subjects and participants in the study were very limited (as only about 30 drivers older than 65 and less than 10 medical professionals were involved), it did generate some fascinating trends that may be factoring into making the roadways less safe for everyone traveling on them.
Some of the specific preliminary conclusions researchers reached in this study included that:
- Doctors and nurses often wait until an elderly patient has already been involved in a car accident or has some devastating physical condition before they discuss whether or not the patient should be driving and potential driving alternatives with the patient.
- One of the primary reasons that medical professionals are waiting so long before talking to elderly patients about their potentially impaired driving capabilities lies in the fact that these professionals do not want to insult patients by discussing something that is considered to be a source of freedom to them.
- As a policy, medical professionals should strongly consider having a discussion about driving impairments and driving alternatives with their patients when the patients turn 65 and/or when the patients begin collecting Medicare benefits.
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