Older and Wiser

The Benefits of Giving Up Driving

Americans are in love with the road, and we have the cars and roads to prove it: there were about 225 million licensed drivers in the United States in 2016. There are more than 164,000 miles of highways. Yet, millennials often voluntarily do without cars, and their actions are persuading others—including older adults—to look at the benefits of giving up driving too.

Although it can be harder to get around without a car, there are numerous upsides. For one thing, cars cause an enormous amount of pollution and if more of us stop driving, we are much more likely to see air quality improve.

A large number of cities offer transportation alternatives, including buses and trains. Some individuals prefer to use car services such as Uber and Lyft, because they are less expensive than taxis. Assisted living communities, including Cassia locations, provide scheduled transportation to shopping centers, events, theaters and restaurants. Doctors also set up mini-clinics in many assisted living communities.

In addition, people can carpool with friends or relatives, who are likely to schedule certain days to provide transportation. Whether you ride with friends or family members or take a bus or train to the local mall, you can find multiple places to eat and shop—without having to worry about parking. Moreover, assisted and independent living communities routinely offer walkable areas.

Another development on the horizon involves self-driving cars, which may revolutionize driving as we know it. Though it currently seems that self-driving vehicles are nowhere near ready for the public, technology has a way of speeding up after initial glitches are addressed. It’s entirely possible, therefore, that you and your loved ones can enjoy being chauffeured around by a self-driving car within the next five years.

In the meantime, it’s important to figure out what you might do if you can no longer drive for physical or mental reasons. You can certainly take comfort in the fact that young millennials have become known for giving up their cars or never purchasing any—because they care deeply about the environment and don’t want the expense and bother of owning a car. By using other options, you are, in fact, part of a forward-thinking trend. Your friends’ and neighbors’ children will appreciate all you’re doing to leave them a healthier planet.

Decisions about moving or caring for a loved one can be difficult to navigate. At Cassia, (formerly Augustana Care and Elim Care), we are here to help. To learn more, please visit www.cassialife.org or contact us directly at communication@cassialife.org.