Harvard Health Letter

Protecting your independence and health with transportation options

Avoid isolation, malnutrition, and missed doctor appointments by arranging rides when you no longer drive.

ride-sharing-driving-independence
Let someone else do the driving for you by signing up for a ride at a nonprofit group or spiritual community.
Image: JackF /Thinkstock

It's not easy giving up the car keys when you get older. Without transportation, you need others to take you to a store, a doctor's office, or a social gathering. "That can be very hard for some people. They won't ask for assistance, because they don't want to be a burden," says Dr. Margaret O'Connor, a neuropsychologist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).

Without a ride, you may skip doctor appointments, run low on food, and miss out on seeing friends and family. That puts you at risk for chronic disease, malnutrition, isolation, loneliness, and depression.

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