Home Care: Driving Is No Longer Safe for Seniors
Learn more about how to handle senior driving in The Villages, FL, and the surrounding areas
You have arrived at the point where you no longer feel as though driving is a safe thing for your loved one to do anymore. This is a harsh reality, as people can’t keep their driving abilities for their entire lives. Certain factors like medication, physical problems, and mental impairments can force seniors off the road for good.
It can be difficult to notice when your loved one can longer drive, as the decline happens quickly and subtly. Maybe it’s violations or accidents that move the needle for you, but it may just be you notice that he or she lacks awareness of his or her surroundings.
The biggest thing that interferes with driving is the decline in overall physical abilities. This can range from arthritis to slow reaction time. If your loved one no longer has a full range of motion or quick reflexes then it may be time to get him or her off the road.
Another big issue is the loss of vision in seniors. Old age not only impacts peripheral vision and focus but leaves eyes more susceptible to conditions like glaucoma or cataracts.
Poor hearing is another factor that can be very dangerous on the road. Hearing loss can prevent your loved one from hearing sounds that might typically alert him or her of potential danger.
Driving can also be impaired by the side effects of medication, such as drowsiness, dizziness, confusion or blurred vision. Some medication even impacts the ability to concentrate on the road.
Getting your loved one of the road probably is something that you dread doing, but it’s better to do it before anybody gets hurt because your loved one isn’t capable to be behind the wheel anymore. Here are a few ways to tell if your loved one is struggling on the road:
- Go on a few drives with your loved one and be honest with yourself about what you see.
- Ask your loved one if he or she is anxious about driving, at night especially.
- Pay attention to your loved one’s reaction time to traffic lights and other cars.
- See if your loved one pays attention to the road or has any bad driving habits.
- Check for any damage to your loved one’s car that could be the cause of a driving mishap.
- Find out if your loved one’s rates have gone up or if he or she has gotten any violations.
- Talk to neighbors and friends about your loved one’s driving ability.