Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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Another issue with driving may be a question of control. People want to feel in control of their comings and goings. Even if they are not the actual “foot on the pedal,” having someone else drive could still give them a way to get out of the house and have the freedom to visit whomever they wish, as well as the ability to stay active and avoid isolation.

If financial means are available, you could hire a driver who would use the senior’s car to transport them. Perhaps a younger senior could be found who may have time on his hands and would welcome a chance to make extra money. It would be a chance to have another buddy looking out for the senior. If finances are a problem, the person could post an ad asking for a volunteer who is willing to drive and who would enjoy engaging company and getting out several times a week.

Another practical suggestion is to rely on family members by having a pool of drivers, such as grandchildren and their spouses, who would benefit from an ongoing relationship in new ways with an older, wiser, loving grandparent.

It is all too true one major reason a person must stop driving is Alzheimer’s disease. One member of the church group said her husband, who had recently passed away, was diagnosed with lung cancer and early Alzheimer’s in the same week. She didn’t want him driving because he had been getting lost. She dealt with the situation by sitting down with him and calmly saying, “Jim, since you have so many distractions just now, how about if I do the driving for a while?” He responded with characteristic good grace and humor, saying, “I didn’t know I was distracted.” He was able to relinquish the car keys. The decision was the source of considerable grief, but he could still get to church, which he loved, and to social events with friends he enjoyed.

Family and friends could help by checking in and setting up visits to maintain friendship and socializing in the individual’s home so the senior does not have to think about driving. Having friends and family surround someone is always helpful.

Giving up the car keys does not have to be the end. Don’t let it. The altered situation could present different types of opportunities.



Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60+ and Health & Wellness magazines. Her blog may be seen on her website at www.normajan.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers

independence that means so much to seniors at this time in life. If the difficulties are worked out, the person could stay active, vital and out in the community for years to come.

Sometimes the senior driver finds himself at odds with caregivers and/or family about his continued driving. But when a senior is no longer safe on the road, it may be a blessing to make them stop driving. No one wants to think they could injure themselves or someone else. No one wants to worry their family about possibly causing an accident where there could be loss of life or bodily injury in addition to destruction of property.

What recourse is available? There are numerous options to consider and implement. One option might be selling the car and putting the money in a savings account to use for cab or Uber fare. A cab would allow the senior to continue to go to church, doctor appointments, family visits and even shopping or other interests. Calling a cab could be used in conjunction with other senior services such as Wheels. Granted, there are limitations. A senior may not feel she is able to pick up on the spur of the moment and drive wherever she wants. But a phone call could bring a cab within minutes.  

Life doesn’t have to end with the cessation of driving privileges, does it?

I took this thought to a church group that was meeting at my home for a Kentucky Derby party. These members of Guardian Angels Parish in Cincinnati were all seniors, ages 66 to 90 years. These men and women attempt to face life with courage, kindness and consideration for others. Like many of their generation, they have previously experienced their own personal struggles, some with parents who are no longer safe on the road. They have also witnessed their peers facing this conflict.

The group considered my question – and set me straight.

Taking the car keys away from Granddad is a very sensitive issue fraught with difficulty both for Granddad and family. The consensus of the group was whether a senior voluntarily stopped driving or was encouraged by his or her family to curtail this privilege, all affected parties should engage in a decision process that takes time, patience and understanding. All the group members agreed this situation involves a real loss, on a par with the loss of a loved one, financial stability or health.

Losing the freedom to drive means a loss of independence. There will be grieving. Many see it as the end of mobility and access. Yet this change doesn’t have to be a total loss, nor does it necessarily have to be the end. There are ways to stop driving and still have some of the