A narrative analysis of the transition from driving to driving cessation in later life : Implications from an occupational lens

The transition from driving to driving cessation in older adulthood is considered a major life transition where resulting disruptions can impact sense of self. Such transitions at this life stage offer both a challenge and opportunity to consider the relationship between disruption, adaptation (or not) of occupational patterns, and perceptions of life roles. The current study examines this process of adaptation where the focus is on exploring how disruption, loss, and identity over time are negotiated at this life stage. Semi-structured interviews with each participant explored this process. Based on these interviews and corresponding narrative analysis, the trajectories of each of the five older adults (4 male, 1 female; aged 73-90) were categorized and mapped. The analysis indicated the narrative slopes of three participants were ‘progressive’ (more ups than downs), one participant was ‘stable’ (landing where one started), and the remaining participant was ‘regressive’ (more downs than ups). Results from this study suggest the process of negotiating the transition from driver to non-driver was non-linear, meaning the ensuing adaptations to everyday life involved a major reorganization of occupations and routines. Social support and finding alternative ways of doing were key to negotiating this transition. Challenges experienced during the transition and/or, a failure to adapt, suggests an ongoing and growing disconnect in life roles. Further study of the impact of such disconnection and the ramifications on not only the person but also their social network is warranted.

Bertrand Romain
Jonsson Hans
Margot Cattin Isabel
Vrkljan Brenda

Bertrand, R., Jonsson, H., Margot-Cattin, I., & Vrkljan, B. (2021). A narrative analysis of the transition from driving to driving cessation in later life : Implications from an occupational lens. Journal of Occupational Science. doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2021.1879239