Frances Wright, director of the Otsego County Office of Aging, said those of advanced years such as Benedict often face “a big dilemma” when confronted with the question of when they should ratchet down their activities due to health frailties.
“There are a whole lot of choices we face as we get older, and to make those choices ourselves can actually help us to be independent longer,” she said. “This really brings to light the role of personal responsibility in making choices about when you should stop certain activities.”
Benedict’s resignation, coming out of the blue, is likely to trigger conversation within families regarding whether older relatives, whose reflexes have slowed, should continue to be driving their vehicles, said one medical expert.
“As a geriatrician, we deal with this often in talking to patients and families about driving capacity,” said Dr. Roy Korn, an internal medicine and geriatrics specialist at Bassett Medical Center and Cobleskill Regional Hospital. “With the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, I think it is very appropriate that this is on the radar screen.”