Glaucoma, an eye disorder that gradually decreases peripheral vision, affects millions of older adults. Consequences of glaucoma can mean changes in the ability to perform familiar tasks, including driving an automobile. We surveyed older drivers with glaucoma and a control comparison group in order to learn more about their driving habits and expectations about driving cessation. Findings indicate that compared to the control group, drivers with glaucoma are significantly more likely to change their driving habits with regard to driving at night (p = 0.003), on freeways (p = 0.05), and in unfamiliar areas (p = 0.01). Drivers with glaucoma were also significantly more likely to report family concern about their driving (p = 0.01). However, the drivers with glaucoma did not anticipate that their disease would force them to discontinue driving. Social workers play a pivotal role in coordinating the complex care needs of visually impaired elders. When driving skills are affected, social workers must address transportation, housing as well as quality of life concerns.
- Eye disease