Background: As people age, their mobility begins to decrease. In an effort to maintain mobility, this population can seek out rehabilitation services with the goal of improving their driving. However, it is unclear who has sought out rehabilitation for this purpose. Objective: To better understand, identify, and describe the characteristics of older adults who utilize rehabilitation with the purpose of improved driving. Methods: Data was analyzed from the fifth round of the National Health and Aging Trends study (NHATS), which is made up of Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65 that are community-dwelling. Rehabilitation utilization specifically for improved driving and other transportation was analyzed. Adjusted weighted logistic regression was conducted to better understand and identify the characteristics of the study population that received rehabilitation services for the purpose of improved driving ability. Results: Nineteen percent (N = 1,335) of this cohort received rehabilitation in the past year. Of those, 10% (N = 128) received rehabilitation to specifically improve driving and 2% (N = 25) did so to improve other transportation. Older adults who were single, separated, or never married were less likely to use rehabilitation for improving driving ability, compared to older adults who were married (OR: 0.29; 95% CI: 0.11–0.80). Conclusion: Older adults who are married were more likely to report they wanted to improve their driving ability with rehabilitation. The role of rehabilitation services to improve driving among older adults will play a key role in the coming years as older adults strive to maintain their independence.
- Automobile driving
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health