Elderly Care: Driving Is Questionable for Seniors
So you’ve gotten to the point where you are questioning your loved one’s ability to drive? You don’t want to take away his or her autonomy, but the fact is that driving skills fade as people age. This is due to many factors, from physical conditions to the side effects of medication.
One of the biggest issues is actually determining whether or not your loved one is indeed struggling behind the wheel. Some signs to look for are the failure to notice signs and pedestrians, recent traffic violations, and car accidents this is all part of elderly care.
Part of the problem is that seniors see their physical abilities decline with old age. They can also develop conditions like arthritis that affect joints and limit the full range of motion. Lack of activity may also lead to slower reaction times.
With old age also comes the loss of vision, both peripheral and focus. Eyes that are older are also subject to a higher risk of developing conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts or degeneration.
Hearing loss is another condition that also comes with old age. Having poor hearing on the road is hazardous because sounds that may typically indicate potential danger might now fall on deaf ears.
Medications can also potentially impair driving if they produce certain side effects, such as drowsiness, confusion, or blurred vision. Some medications can even make it difficult to focus at all.
Convincing your loved one that it’s time to stop driving may not be something that is comfortable to do, but early intervention is better than waiting for someone to get injured, or worse. Follow these suggestions to better ascertain that your loved one is no longer capable of driving:
- Ride along as a passenger a few times and observe your loved one’s demeanor.
- Ask your loved one if he or she is hesitant about driving at night.
- Observe how quickly your loved one reacts to traffic lights and other cars.
- Be on the lookout for bad driving habits or lack of awareness while driving.
- Look for any damages on the car that could be the result of driving incidents.
- Check to see if your loved one has any recent tickets or raised insurance rates.
- Speak with friends and neighbors about your loved one’s driving skills and get advice if they need elderly care or not.
Aging isn’t the only reason why your loved one’s driving skills might be declining but acknowledging it’s pronounced impact on those skills is important as a caregiver. You can contact us by phone (405) 200-1156 or you can visit our website if you would like to learn more about how our elderly caregivers can help you and your loved one.