Guide for Family Members: When It's Time for Seniors to Stop Driving
Skip main navigation
Serving Venice and surrounding areas.
Type Size
Serving Venice and surrounding areas.
Past main navigation Contact Us

Guide for Family Members: When It's Time for Seniors to Stop Driving

As a family member of an elderly loved one, watching the effects of aging can be difficult and frightening. When it comes to driving, you may worry if your senior loved one is still capable of operating a vehicle safely or should retire from that activity altogether. Although this is a hard decision to make, there are certain signs that indicate when it's time for seniors to stop driving.

Signs It's Time for Seniors to Stop Driving

In many cases, family members may start to see several common indications that seniors need to avoid driving. 

Difficulty Seeing or Following Road Signs

One key sign that seniors should stop driving is difficulty reading and taking directions from signage on the roads, such as speed limit signs, direction arrows, detours, etc. If you find your senior loved one physically straining to make out a posted sign or missing it altogether, even in good lighting, this indicates they may no longer be able to drive safely. 

Struggling to Stay in Their Lane 

Another indication that it's time for seniors to stop driving is when they experience difficulty keeping their car within the confines of its designated space on the road. This often manifests itself by drifting over into another lane without realizing or noticing other vehicles nearby them. 

Confusion with Traffic Lights and Signals 

Older drivers can often become confused if there are multiple cyclists and cars around. Although taking an alternate route should help alleviate confusion encountered at busy junctions, struggling to deal with those challenges could indicate that it's time for a senior loved one to relinquish their keys. 

Difficulty Getting to Their Destination 

Getting lost frequently could be a red flag that reminds family members about the need for timely intervention, especially for elderly drivers who experience confusion due to physical frailty combined with advancing age-related cognitive decline disorders like Alzheimer's disease.  

Slowed Reaction Times

When we grow older, our reflexes slow down, putting elderly motorists at risk of not being able to respond quickly enough, if required. 

Preparing for Senior Loved Ones to Stop Driving

Perhaps the most important thing for family members to do is research alternative transportation options for seniors. Public transportation can be one way for seniors to remain independent and mobile, even if they no longer drive. Look into local bus routes as well as taxi services or other senior ride services that may offer professionally trained drivers who specialize in elderly passengers.  It's also a good idea to offer your senior loved one a free ride when you are able since that can help prevent them from ending up stuck at home. 

Get Help Caring for Loved Ones As Capability Declines

When your loved one's capability declines, you may find that they need increasingly more care at home as well as support with other services. At Senior Helpers Venice, we offer a range of services for seniors in North Port, Venice, Englewood, Punta Gorda, South Sarasota, Nokomis, Osprey, and Port Charlotte that can help them stay independent longer. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of those services.