For many seniors, giving up driving equates to giving up their independence, and most seniors are reluctant to hand over their car keys. However, there comes a time when driving becomes too risky, not just for them but also for those sharing the road. Here are several signs indicating it’s probably time to take away your aging loved one’s keys.
Not all seniors who forget tasks or responsibilities have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. With age, it’s natural for less oxygen to get to the brain, making seniors forget simple tasks or appointments. However, forgetting familiar routes, basic auto functions, and general traffic rules or experiencing the inability to make quick decisions behind the wheel could be a sign your loved one is no longer capable of operating a vehicle.
Family caregivers who have difficulty providing transportation for their loved ones while managing other responsibilities should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Richmond homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Lack of Stability
With age, stability can become an issue. If your loved one seems unstable at times—for example, if he or she is having difficulty navigating around the home, holding items, or reaching for things—it could impair his or her ability to turn, stop, react, or brake while driving. Even simple driving tasks can become challenging if a senior is unsteady.
If your loved one has a difficult time reading or seeing things (with or without glasses), it may be a sign of age-related degenerative eye problems. These can impair vision and depth perception and make it challenging or impossible to see signs and pedestrians from behind the wheel. Schedule an eye exam and discuss the results with your loved one’s optometrist.
Medication Side Effects
Whether your loved one takes one medication or ten, it’s important to review all medications he or she is taking and speak with the physician about possible side effects or interactions. If your loved one takes medication that can cause drowsiness or dizziness or affect mental acuity, he or she shouldn’t be operating a vehicle.
Helping seniors remain safe while they age can be challenging. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Richmond families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
Increase in Accidents
If your loved one is starting to get involved in accidents, such as sideswiping vehicles, hitting parked cars, or getting into fender benders, whether they happen on the road or in parking lots, you should be worried about his or her ability to drive. Your loved one may try to conceal these types of accidents from you, so keep an eye out for dents or scratches in the paint on your parent’s car.
Regular Moving Violations
Getting tickets for moving violations could be a sign your loved one is forgetting basic traffic laws or exercising poor judgment as a motorist. Seniors over the age of 70 who have been ticketed more than twice in the previous three years are the most dangerous demographic among drivers.
The nability to drive is just one of the many issues older adults face in their golden years. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted senior care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (804) 207-4746 today.