The decision to take away a senior’s car keys is never easy, but it’s often necessary. Family caregivers need to monitor their aging loved ones to determine if driving is no longer a safe activity. Here are some common signs that let caregivers know their aging parents shouldn’t drive.
The eye muscles tend to lose their flexibility with age, which puts seniors at risk of vision loss. Older adults with impaired vision may find it difficult to focus on objects and perform tasks such as driving. Seniors who are unable to detect objects and people on the side of the road or accurately read a speedometer won’t be able to drive without putting their safety and the safety of others at risk. If your loved one is unable to see clearly, take him or her to the eye doctor to determine if he or she has glaucoma, cataracts, or another health issue that causes vision to deteriorate.
Prescription Drugs Impacting Overall Health
Growing older puts seniors at higher risk for age-related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Living with these diseases could require taking multiple medications each day. The side effects of these prescriptions could lead to drowsiness, confusion, tremors, or blurred vision, compromising the ability to drive safely. Ask your loved one’s doctor if alternative treatments are available. If not, your loved one should stop driving while taking the medications.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care service. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Multiple Traffic Tickets
Even a simple traffic warning could be a clue your loved one needs to stop driving. Go through your loved one’s mail and financial accounts to see if he or she has been summoned to court or had to pay traffic violations. If your loved one’s insurance increases, call the company and see if traffic tickets are the reason. When traffic citations begin to occur frequently, you may need to take your parent’s keys away. You can ease the transition by finding transportation services your loved one can take advantage of.
Along with not being able to drive, some seniors may face difficulty in managing their daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Harrisburg seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Damage to the Car
Bumps and dents aren’t normal wear and tear on a vehicle. They’re usually the sign of a negligent driver. Inspect your parent’s car a few times each week to check for damage to the exterior. Seniors who are having difficulty driving are more likely to experience incidents that lead to nicks and dents in their vehicles. To prevent a serious injury or accident, take the keys away from your loved one immediately. Offer to take your loved one to the doctor, the grocery store, community events, and anywhere else he or she needs to go throughout the week.
Even if your loved one has to give up driving, he or she can still enjoy a high level of independence with the help of a home caregiver. Harrisburg senior care 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. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (717) 540-4663 today.