Driving is something that most people look forward to tremendously as they go from childhood to adulthood. This is a symbol of freedom and autonomy, and a way for them to live the lifestyle that they desire. Unfortunately, as people age, their ability to drive safely diminishes. Experts estimate that seniors who continue to drive throughout their lifespans on average outlive their ability to drive safely both for themselves and for those who they share the road with by between 7 and 10 years. While elderly adults tend to be safe drivers due to the fact that they are more likely to do things such as wear their seat belt, their physical and cognitive limitations and risks can make them more vulnerable to crashes, injuries, and death while driving. As a family caregiver, it is critical that you evaluate your parent’s health and well-being, and whether the issues that they face might make it so that they should give up the keys and stop driving.
August is National Traffic Awareness Month. This is the ideal time for you to look out for the signs that might indicate it’s time for your parent to stop driving.
Some indications that it might be time for your parent to stop driving include:
- Vision changes. It is extremely important that your loved one is able to see properly in order to drive effectively. If their vision has changed drastically or their adaptive devices are no longer working well, they might not be safe behind the wheel.
- Dementia. While it is obvious why seniors who are dealing with moderate stages of dementia should not be driving, it is important to also keep in mind that those who are early in the progression of dementia might need to stop driving as well. Even in the early phases of the disease people with dementia can struggle with confusion and wandering tendencies that can make it extremely dangerous for them to be behind the wheel.
- Damage to their vehicle. Check out your parent’s car the next time you are at their home with them. Look for signs of damage such as scrapes, scratches, and dents. This might indicate that they have been involved in minor accidents, including one-car accidents, that shows that they are no longer able to control a vehicle safely.
- Traffic tickets. Pay attention if you notice traffic tickets in your parent’s home, or they mention that they have received such tickets. Even parking tickets could be a sign that they are no longer following the laws properly, or that they are making unsafe decisions while driving.
Starting elder care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for your elderly family member throughout the course of your caregiver journey with them. Being a family caregiver means that you want to make sure that their needs and challenges are met effectively, while being an adult child means that you want your senior to live the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. The highly personalized services of an elderly home care services provider can help you to achieve both goals. These services are designed specifically to address your parent’s limitations and challenges while also helping them to pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, and independent as possible throughout their later years. By understanding your parent’s needs and their individuality, this care provider gives them the support, care, and assistance that they need to stay happy, healthy, safe, and comfortable, for a lifestyle that is fulfilling and right for your senior.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Tallahassee, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.