According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 45 million adults 65 and older have a driver’s license, and the average licensed driver is 35-54 -years old. Think about it: Your senior is more than twice the average age of a driver and will probably be driving for several more years. Despite this fact seniors are slower to respond to traffic signs, take longer to stop than younger drivers, and have a higher rate of motor vehicle accidents. Senior home care providers could step in with transportation.
What Are the Signs That Your Senior Isn’t Safe to Drive?
Driving requires patience and a great deal of concentration. Because of this, there are some concerns about whether a senior should be driving. There are certain factors that can indicate that a senior is no longer capable of driving:
- Poor Eyesight
- Poor Hearing
- Physical Limitations
- Cognitive Impairment
If your senior driver shows any of these signs, you should talk to them about their driving habits, and if they can no longer drive safely, consider talking to them and explain your concern about their driving.
Tips for Talking About Driving With Your Senior
Here are some tips to help you talk to your loved one about driving:
1. Don’t criticize. You want to start the conversation in a positive way, so don’t condemn your senior for driving.
2. Ask your senior how they feel about their driving. Are they happy with their driving? Do they feel safe? How do they feel about getting older?
3. Ask your senior for advice. You may want to ask them what they think would happen if they hit another car, or if they hit a pedestrian or another driver, or get a speeding ticket.
How Should You Handle the Issue?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that older adults are more likely to be injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident than young adults. There are some things that you can do to encourage your senior to drive safely and reduce their risk of an accident.
1. Set up an appointment with your senior’s doctor to see if there is a medical reason for your loved one to stop driving.
2. Help your senior find an alternative to driving if they can no longer drive safely. Senior home care can take your senior anywhere they want or need to.
3. If your senior still insists on driving, but you are worried about their safety on the road, get them a car that will be easier to drive. A car with automatic lights and wipers will allow your senior to focus on the road ahead. If your senior has problems with their vision, it might be a good idea to add a rear-view camera.
4. If your loved one has health problems that make it difficult for them to pay attention to the road and they are not willing to stop driving, you may want to consider taking away their keys. If they are not willing to stop driving, they should at least be aware of the dangers of driving.
Having Senior Home Care Around
Many seniors don’t want to give up the independence that comes from driving and their independence, but if your senior is having trouble seeing the road, or if they are having trouble remembering how to get to a destination, it’s best to have senior home care drive your senior around. We have the best team available to your senior, give us a call today!!