One of the hardest things for elderly adults to give up is driving privileges. However, when it is no longer safe for them to be on the road, it’s necessary. But how do family caregivers know when their elderly parent should stop driving? Even though there’s no easy answer, there are some clues that family members, friends, and elderly care providers can look for that may signal it’s time to turn in the keys.
Why Should Seniors Stop Driving?
While there are many excellent drivers of advanced age, there are many more seniors that shouldn’t be behind the wheel due to a decline in physical and mental health. Some of the typical things that happen with old age, like poor vision, reduced hearing, slower reflexes, and forgetfulness, affect a person’s skills in driving. the result is that they are no longer safe on the road and they risk their own lives as well as the lives of others.
The big problem is that many elderly adults simply aren’t willing to give up their driving privileges. Driving is the ultimate freedom and many aging adults have been driving for decades. It’s devastating for many seniors to think about having the convenience of their own car taken away. They may try to hide evidence of problem driving or they won’t confess to experiencing difficulties. That’s why it’s so important for adult children, friends, family members, and elderly care providers to be careful observers so they know when it is time to act.
What are the Warning Signs for Seniors?
There are any number of warning signs that indicate that an elderly person should not be driving. One of the most direct is getting a diagnosis of an illness or disease from the doctor that prohibits driving outright. Conditions like poor vision, Parkinson’s disease, seizures, moderate to severe arthritis, moderate to severe diabetes, and after a stroke. Some medications may have side effects that prohibit driving, too. These are generally clear-cut cases that indicate an elderly person should not drive.
Other red flags concerning seniors and driving can only be seen when riding as a passenger in their vehicle. Family caregivers may notice an increase in driving issues, such as getting confused by traffic lights, failing to stop at a stop sign, running lights, cutting off cars when merging and frequent fender benders. It’s especially concerning if the elderly driver gets lost a lot and can’t remember where they are going.
Seniors are also more likely to give up their cars if they have reliable transportation available. Elderly care providers can happily transport aging adults to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and to social events. Family caregivers simply need to make arrangements with their existing elderly care provider or expand the services to include transportation. Although giving up their diving privileges, senior can still find ways to get around their community.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Commack, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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