Senior’s Driving Cessation: A Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Cultural Perspective

TitleSenior’s Driving Cessation: A Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Cultural Perspective
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMaria Curro, Jinhua Zhao
Conference Name53rd Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
Date Published11/2012
Conference LocationCincinnati, OH
Abstract

For the great majority of Canadian seniors the private automobile is the primary form of mobility, providing seniors accessibility, freedom and independence. The aging process often leads to a decline and/or compromises the ability to safely drive, resulting in the cessation of driving and/or need to cease driving. Given the importance of the private automobile and the negative consequences associated with driving cessation, a vast literature base exists examining seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation. Past literature has not examined ethnic seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation in later years. The premise of this study is to document ethnic seniors’ perceptions on the subject of driving cessation, drawing out ethnic differences in perceptions and highlighting where the information revealed within this thesis extends the current understanding on the topic of seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation. This paper focuses at ethnic differences in seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation from a social perspective. The researcher worked with seniors from the Asian, South Asian, Caucasian and Caribbean/African communities. A total of 351 seniors participated within the study, and the researcher conducted one-on-one interviews with each senior. Thematic analysis was used to code all interview data and the 6 overarching categories encapsulate ethnic seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation in the following ways: an individual perspective; a social perspective; an instrumental perspective; changing familial interactions post-cessation; public transit, transportation alternatives and transit accessible locations; provincial driving legislation and driving programs. Results demonstrate that seniors’ perceptions differ and/or coincide across ethnic groups, depending upon the category. Results demonstrate that ethnic seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation differ from those expressed in past literature on the topic, thereby adding and expanding the broader understanding regarding seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation. This research may be used by academics, health care professionals, government agencies, transit authorities, senior caregivers and seniors themselves to better understand seniors’ perceptions around driving cessation and to better develop strategies to work with seniors from different ethnic backgrounds in order to aid in a safe and supported transition from driver to non-driver.      

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