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Journeys : Apr May 2012
Older people who give up driving are finding it’s not all bad – many are finding different ways to cope. P hD student Sarah Walker says that the positive impacts experienced include feeling relief at no longer hav ing to drive, personal grow th through adversity and learning acceptance, and monetary savings. “Many older people cope by making lifestyle changes to adapt to life without a car, for example, using other ways of getting around, shopping closer to home or on a bus route, and finding new activities,” Sarah explains. “Some individuals also cope by changing the way they think, so that any losses linked with giving up driving seem less important.” The research was conducted in the ACT at the Australian National University. The study looked at the experiences of nearly 40 volunteers above retirement age who had given up driving. Sarah says that previous research had only associated giving up driving with negative effects. “Other studies have shown that giving up driving can lead to poorer physical health, increased risk of mortality, depressive symptoms and emotional distress,” she says. “Most people don’t think there will be any thing positive about giving up driving. However, my study shows there are some positives.” A number of factors like having relatives or friends who drive, accessible shops and ser vices, a planned or staged decline in driving, or having a say in the decision to quit can mean fewer negative impacts. A study in this area is under way. “My research continues with an Australia-wide survey that anyone aged 65 and over can volunteer to take part in. I hope that we can lear n from those who cope well with giving up driving, so that we can help those who don’t manage so well,” Sarah says. Participation is voluntary, takes less than an hour and involves completing a questionnaire containing dr iving, health and coping-related questions. You can volunteer to participate by contacting Sarah Walker on 02 6125 0018, 0434 978 623 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org Is it time to give up driving? Preparing for a hospital stay To make things a little easier, here are some tips on how RACT Health Insurance can help make your hospital visit as straightforward as possible Tip 1: Check waiting periods New members to health insurance or existing members who upgrade their cover are subject to waiting per iods and/or benefit limitation periods before full entitlements are payable. We recommend that you check whether you are subject to waiting periods at the time of your hospital admission. Tip 2: E xclusions RACT Health Insurance has a wide range of covers to suit different needs. To reduce the premium, some covers have exclusions where no benefits are payable. Prior to treatment, contact RACT Health Insurance to confirm your level of cover. Tip 3: Itemised account Before treatment, ask your doctor for an itemised quote then contact R ACT Health Insurance and we can let you know what benefits you will receive. Tip 4: Participating private hospital RACT Health Insurance has agreements with more than 500 pr ivate hospitals nationally, which means that if you are admitted to a participating private hospital or a public hospital, you will be covered for accommodation, theatre, delivery suite and other agreed charges (subject to the cover you have selected). Where a hospital is not a participating private hospital, fixed benefits are payable, which means you may be out of pocket. Check if your local hospital is an R ACT Health Insurance participating hospital at w w w.ract.com.au/healthinsurance For more information or to contact RACT Health Insurance simply call 13 27 22, visit www.ract.com.au/healthinsurance or drop into your local RACT branch. Note: Memb ers on B ronze Hospital cover with RACT Health In su rance are covered as a private patient in a public hospital, however limited benefits are payable in a p rivate hospital. Significant out of pocket exp en ses will apply in a private h ospital on Bronze Hospital cover. RACT Health Insuranc e is available to new and existing RACT members only an d is brought to you by GMHBA Limited. In our community April / May 2012 9
Feb March 2012
Jun Jul 2012