Most seniors want to continue driving for as long as possible because it helps them stay independent. However, certain age-related health conditions and medications may make it dangerous for them to be on the road. If your elderly loved one wants to stay behind the wheel, here are a few measures to ensure he or she can do so safely.
Assess Medications & Health Conditions
Many prescription medications cause drowsiness or other side effects that can impair the ability to drive. Be aware of the medications your loved one is taking. Talk to a pharmacist or doctor about any possible side effects or interactions, and ask if any of your loved one’s medications can affect the ability to drive. If your loved one has had a stroke or exhibits signs of cognitive impairment, talk to his or her primary care doctor about a referral to a specialist who can evaluate your loved one’s abilities.
For seniors who are no longer able to drive safely, professional caregivers can be a fantastic resource. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elderly home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Observe Driving Behaviors
Take a drive with your loved one at the wheel, and be on the lookout for signs of potential driving problems, including:
- Driving too slow or too fast
- Making improper lane changes
- Having close calls
- Using one foot on the gas and another on the brake
- Getting disoriented, anxious, or frustrated
Plan for the Unexpected
Try to head off driving problems before they arise. For example, make sure your loved one’s vehicle is well maintained by getting it serviced regularly and ensuring there’s plenty of gas, oil, tire pressure, and a good spare tire in case of a flat. A cell phone and a membership in a roadside assistance program can also provide peace of mind in the event of an emergency.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Flower Mound families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Have a conversation with your loved one about situations he or she should avoid when driving. For example, it may be dangerous for your loved one to drive at night, in bad weather, or on busy freeways. Encourage your loved one to use public transportation when it isn’t safe to drive, or hire a professional caregiver to provide transportation.
For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Flower Mound, TX, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 468-6010.