In-Home Care: Driving Has Become a Concern for Seniors
Your loved one may have been driving for as long as you can remember, but you’ve now gotten to a point where you are concerned about him or her being behind the wheel. People don’t maintain their driving ability forever and there are many factors that contribute to its decline.
One of the hardest things about taking away your loved one’s keys is that you might not notice that it needs to be done, at least right away. It could be near-accidents or citations, or it could be observations you’ve made about his or her awareness. Either way, it’s not as easy to spot as one would think.
Physical conditions are probably what hurts the driving ability of seniors the most. Arthritis and lack of exercise can limit the range of motion and slow down reaction time, making driving challenging.
One of these physical conditions is the loss of vision, which can include glaucoma or cataracts. Once your loved one loses peripheral vision and focus, it’s no longer safe to be on the road.
Hearing loss impairs driving as well, making it difficult for your loved one to hear sounds that might signal possible danger, such as screeching tires, sirens or horns.
Medications may also impact your loved one’s ability to drive by causing drowsiness or blurred vision. Some medications may even make it difficult to focus and leave your loved one distracted.
It won’t be easy to tell our loved one that he or she can no longer drive, but acting now is better than waiting for an incident to occur or potentially putting your loved one and other drivers in danger. Use these ways to determine whether or not your loved one is still fit to drive:
- Ride with your loved one as a passenger and take note of his or her disposition.
- Ask your loved one if he or she is worried about driving at night.
- Keep an eye on reaction time to driving cues like lights and other cars.
- Check for awareness of surrounding and possibly bad driving habits.
- See if there is any damage to his or her car that would suggest a driving incident.
- Find out if your loved one has any recent violations or higher insurance rates.
- Talk to friends and neighbors to see what they have to say about his or her driving.
It’s important to recognize the large role that age plays in driving ability, even if it’s not the main reason for the decline in skills. Contact us (352) 221-9582 or got to our website https://comfortkeepers.com/offices/florida/ocala/ for more information on our in-home care services and how they can help you and your loved one.