While driving may be a part of everyday life, and something we don’t consider as a particularly difficult task, for seniors it can be incredibly dangerous. At a certain stage, it could become beneficial to enlist senior home care services to help your loved one get around. Seniors can be a danger on the road if their mental or physical capabilities have diminished too much. It’s often difficult to know exactly when that will be. If you’re wondering when you should have that difficult conversation about driving with your loved one, there are a few factors you should consider.
Certain medical conditions can inhibit a senior’s abilities to safely get behind the wheel. Ailments like arthritis, for example, can affect someone’s range of motion and their ability to switch lanes or park the car. Dementia can severely cripple a senior’s mental state and reduce their overall awareness of their surroundings. It could become difficult for them to remember and obey the rules of the road and increase their likelihood of getting lost or getting into a collision on the highway.
It’s important to take note of any medications your loved one might be taking which could impair their ability to drive. Some medications have side effects that could cause them to be unsafe on the road, including drowsiness, nausea, headaches, and blurred vision.
While this might seem like an obvious indicator of someone’s ability or inability to drive, it can be a useful reference for identifying trends in your loved one’s driving. Getting lost a few times is normal for an aging person, but a consistent record of fender-benders or unexplained bumps or scratches on the car can be indicators of something more serious—that their driving ability isn’t what it used to be. That’s why Senior Helpers offers companion care services among its many senior home care services that involves caregivers driving your loved one to where they need to go.
Try to be in the car while your loved one is driving and observe how they handle the vehicle. This is one of the best ways to determine if they are still fit to drive. Watch for errors while signaling, difficulty turning, increased agitation, failure to obey road signs, and slow reaction times.
There are also tests available that can evaluate a person’s ability to operate a car. A driving assessment may be available at your local DMV, rehabilitation center, VA medical center, or hospital. These evaluations usually cost between $200-500 and can be well worth the expense.
If your loved one is exhibiting any of these signs, and you suspect they might be a danger to themselves or others on the road, senior home care services would be a good option for you. Our caregivers can assist your loved one with errands, transportation, and mobility so they won’t need to get behind the wheel.
To learn more about our senior home care services, and your loved one can benefit from caregiver assistance, reach out to Senior Helpers today.