How to Know When Elderly Adults Should Stop Driving

Do you worry every time your aging loved one gets behind the wheel of a car? Many family members are not sure when their elderly relatives should put their keys away and cease driving. At some point, the effects of old age, plus illness, injury and chronic conditions affect a senior’s ability to properly operate a vehicle and to safely drive. Family caregivers have the tough decision of deciding when it is time and then enforcing it.

Senior Care Longwood FL - How to Know When Elderly Adults Should Stop Driving
Senior Care Longwood FL – How to Know When Elderly Adults Should Stop Driving

Careful Observation and Evaluation

Driving has long represented freedom and independence, so many aging adults are quite reluctant to turn their keys in and stop driving. However, the conditions of age can limit their ability in big ways. From arthritis and poor vision to slower reflexes and stiff muscles, their bodies may no longer be up to the rigors of driving. While there are those aging adults who safely drive well into old age, family caregivers need to be on the lookout for signs that their elderly loved one is no longer capable.

It’s important for family caregivers, other family members, neighbors and friends to be on the lookout for warning signs that seniors should no longer drive.

Some of the more common signs include:

Poor coordination at home, such as dropping things or stumbling

Recent diagnosis of illness or disease that affects driving, such as seizures, arthritis or severe diabetes

Uncorrected vision or hearing problems

Getting lost and forgetting where they are going

Near misses or fender benders when out

Citations or tickets from police officers

Worries about driving alone, at night or at high speeds

The best way for you to see how your aging loved one really does when driving is to ride with them. You can observe how they react to traffic, handle the vehicle and navigate the city. If you notice any consistent issues, it may be time to have a serious talk about removing driving privileges.

Senior Care Providers Can Help with Transportation

One thing that might make the transition toward no driving easier for your aging relative is if they know they have reliable transportation they can depend on. Hiring senior care providers is one way to ensure seniors can get to where they want, such as the grocery store, doctor’s office, senior citizen’s center, or to visit friends and family. Senior care providers are professionals that step in and help seniors who cannot do things for themselves. Besides driving, senior care providers can also do light housework, laundry and meal preparation.

It’s hard to ask your aging relative to give up their driving privileges, even if it is for their own good and the safety of others. As a family caregiver, you’ll need to do the hard thing and stop them from getting behind the wheel. With help from a senior care provider, you’ll be able to convince everyone that it is for the best.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Services in Longwood FL, please contact the caring staff at Flourish in Place Home Care Solutions today.  Proudly serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard Counties. Call 407-845-9797.

 

About Melanie Lee

Robert “Kim” Lee and Melanie Ann Lee founded Flourish in Place to help seniors and adults with disabilities thrive and flourish while leading dignified and independent lives in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Kim and Melanie raised three remarkable children while helping care for Melanie’s wonderful mother, Kathryn, who lived a rich life despite dealing with bipolar disorder all her life and suffering later from post-polio syndrome. Melanie has cared for her intellectually disabled older sister for the past 18 years as Melinda’s court-appointed plenary guardian. Kim’s mother, Betsy, suffers from severe dementia. She lives in her own home with the help of compassionate family members as well as paid caregivers. Kim and Melanie’s life experiences caring for others influenced their desire to help people not merely “age in place” -- but flourish at home. Kim and Melanie are both Certified Senior Care Managers. Melanie is also a science teacher.
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