One of the hardest things that family caregivers must do as they focus on senior care for their relative is to determine when to end driving privileges. It will never be easy to persuade an elderly adult that the need to stop driving for their own safety and the well-being of others.
Driving provides a lot of independence for adults of all ages, and especially for seniors who have been doing it for decades. However, with age comes physical decline, and at some point, they may be a danger on the road.
So when is it time for an elderly person to stop driving?
There’s no universal answer because different elderly adults have a wide range of physical and cognitive abilities. For someone on medication that makes them unable to drive or someone that can no longer see well to someone who is in the early stages of dementia—every senior driver needs to be evaluated individually. Family caregivers need to pay attention to the warning signs that may reveal that the time has come.
Some of the common warning signs that an elderly person is no longer able to drive include… ignoring traffic signals, drifting in lanes, forgetting to signal, neglecting to yield properly, experience close calls and getting honked at a lot. Seniors may also demonstrate some physical difficulties in operating the vehicle, such as being unable to head check blind spots, move their foot between the gas and the brake, grip the steering wheel and get in and out on their own.
To make the transition a little easier, family caregivers can have a list of alternative transportation options ready to discuss. Sometimes when the elderly person realizes they won’t have to give up visits to the store, appointments or to social events, they are usually willing to open their mind about these alternatives.
Among the most common senior transportation options, public transportation is at the top.
Buses, subways, light rail, trains and more are common in urban and suburban areas. Many seniors often receive a discounted fare for public transportation, making this an easy and cost-effective alternative. Private cars and ridesharing have transformed the way that people get from one place to another.
Seniors can book a car at any time for any destination conveniently, thanks to modern technology. Paratransit options, volunteer organizations, church groups, veteran organizations and more also provide senior services that often include transportation. Hiring a senior care aide can help with transportation as well as other duties.
Driving is a complicated activity that requires fast reflexes and a sharp mind.
When seniors begin to decline in these areas, they may not be able to safely drive. For everyone’s health and safety, it may be time for family caregivers to do the hard thing and get them off the road.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Fort Myers, FL, please contact the caring staff at Touched by An Angel Senior Care today. Call 239-215-8803 today.