According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, there were more than 40 million-licensed drivers ages 65 and older in the United States. That same year, more than 6,800 older adults were killed and more than 260,000 were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries. This amounts to 19 older adults killed and 712 injured in crashes on average every day.
Unfortunately, some senior drivers have hurt or killed children. A senior may hit the gas pedal instead of the brake slamming into another vehicle or killing pedestrians.
“It is important for family members to know whether their loved one can safely drive their car,” said Director of Operations Mary O’Connor at the Senior Helpers Oak Brook Office. “It’s difficult to get your loved one to agree not to drive, but it’s important to do so if they aren’t driving safely.”
Because of this growing danger, Senior Helpers wants to provide a Safe Driving Checklist.
The Senior Helpers Driving checklist:
- Check medications - Medications can make your loved one more drowsy or distracted.
- Check for sleep issues - More that thirty-seven million older Americans suffer from frequent sleep problems.
- Check reflexes and awareness - Try to determine if both issues can cause driving issues with your senior.
- Check the vehicle for damage - When your loved one isn’t in the vehicle, take a good look at it for dents and scratches.
- And have an eye exam - Eyes change with age. Some seniors may lose the ability to focus quickly or see well at a distance.
If it’s time to take the keys away, assure your elderly parents they can still see friends and be involved in the activities they enjoy–even if they can’t drive.
If you notice a problem, hire a caregiver to drive your loved one. The caregiver can also be an extra set of eyes and ears at doctors’ appointments as well as becoming a great companion for the senior and help with shopping, housekeeping and medicine reminders.
For more information about making sure your loved one is safe on the road, call 630-359-5775 or email Mary O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.