Brain training could keep seniors driving longer
OLDER adults who are involved in 10 or more hours of cognitive training are likely to remain driving for a further 10 years.
That's the advice from researchers at Penn State University's Centre for Healthy Ageing, who found that a form of cognitive, or brain, training made it more likely that people would remain capable of driving as they aged.
Retaining the ability to drive for many older adults is crucial to their feelings of self-worth and independence.
To be able to add another 10 years on to their driving life, even if it means participating in some brain training exercises, will be welcomed by many.
Over a period of 10 years, the Penn State University researchers, working with 2000 adults aged 65 years and older, evaluated the effects of three different types of cognitive training - reasoning, speed of processing, and memory.
The study found older adults at-risk for future mobility declines were 49% less likely to give up driving after participating in speed of processing training, and 55% less likely to quit driving after receiving reasoning training.
Those who completed 8 hours or more of speed of processing training were offered "booster training" which was an extra 4 hours.
The researchers found this training resulted in a 70% reduction in the number of participants in the test group stopping driving.
The researchers said the study showed that some brain training exercises for older adults helped protect against a decline in mobility among drivers.