Driving is one of the many symbols of independence, but there comes a point where seniors may no longer be safe operating vehicles on public roads. Here are a few signs your senior loved one should stop driving.
1. Unexplainable Damage to the Car
Older adults are often hesitant to mention they have difficulty driving. Whether this is due to their sense of pride or the fear their keys might be taken away, obvious damage to their cars must be addressed. Wait for a time when your loved one seems calm enough to have a discussion and ask what happened. While it’s common to occasionally experience a door ding or minor dent, you should be worried if your loved one refuses to talk about it or can’t come up with a reasonable explanation for the incident.
The inability to drive is just one of the many issues older adults may have to face. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare services. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Vision or Hearing Loss
Seniors who have been excellent drivers all their lives may find it increasingly difficult to drive safely if they cannot see or hear properly. Stay aware of your loved one’s vision and hearing abilities. If you notice something seems off, arrange to have your parent’s eyes and ears checked.
3. Memory Loss
While people tend to fear accidents the most, you should also be aware that seniors with memory loss are at risk for making dangerous mistakes as they drive. For instance, your loved one could forget where he or she is going and end up driving many miles away. Alternatively, your loved one could end up in a bad neighborhood or forget where his or her vehicle is parked. These types of situations can leave your loved one vulnerable to crime, and having a companion provide transportation is a safer solution.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care University Park, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Someone Else’s Expression of Concern
It’s reassuring to know your loved one’s friends, neighbors, and other caregivers can look out for him or her. Make sure the people in your loved one’s social network know to reach out to you with their concerns. For instance, they may notice your loved one has difficulty backing out of the driveway or fails to follow road signs. If someone expresses concern about your loved one’s driving, assume it has been going on for a while. Ask a professional driving instructor to perform an assessment to see if it’s safe for your loved one to continue driving alone.
5. Medication Side Effects
With driving, every second counts, and your loved one must be able to react quickly to a dangerous situation. Many medications cause drowsiness and other side effects that slow reaction times. Talk to your loved one’s pharmacist to find out about potential medication side effects so you can arrange for alternative transportation services if the need arises.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care University Park seniors can depend on. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (214) 363-3400.