“The Challenge is Not to Make Her Feel Old and Bad”: Exploring Australian Family Member Experiences of Conversations About Driving With Older Adults Using an Online Survey

Publication Name

Journal of Applied Gerontology


This study explored the experiences of Australian family members having conversations about driving with older adults. An exploratory cross-sectional design using an online survey was carried out with Australian family members of current or retired (former) older drivers. One hundred and fifty-six intergenerational family members across Australia completed the survey. Qualitative content analysis of free-text responses identified that the outcomes of conversations were impacted by a range of environmental and individual factors. The essence of conversations centered around two opposing (positive and negative) discourses. The findings highlighted that an individualized approach to the content of conversations is required due to; driver attributes and actions, variations in the level of support experienced by family members, differences in physical and cognitive declines with age, negative perceptions on the impact of driving retirement, and absence of acceptable alternatives to driving. We recommend using positive discourse and reappraisal techniques when initiating driving conversations with older adults.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)