Getting older means that there are going to be new and unique challenges for the senior to face. Slipping in behind the wheel of a car also carries with it a great amount of responsibility. How do you know that your loved one is still safe when they are operating a moving vehicle? Could there be signs that they might not be able to drive safely, whether it’s down the street to the store of across town to an appointment?
It doesn’t matter whether the elderly individual relies on elderly care or not, when it comes to driving, there are certainly going to be a few things that you should keep in mind and determine if you need to bring up the subject of them surrendering their license.
Five potential signs that a senior might not be a safe driver any longer are:
1. They get disoriented, even when they are in a familiar place. When you get disoriented while driving, what tends to happen? You begin to focus more of your energy on trying to figure out where you are than what’s on the road before you. This can lead to accidents involving other cars, pedestrians, and other potentially dangerous situations.
2. Accelerating when they intend to stop. This is actually one of the more common reasons why accidents occur among the elderly. Something might distract them or they panic and step on the accelerator when they mean to step on the brake.
3. Doesn’t look when changing lanes. If you notice your elderly loved one is changing lanes in traffic without looking, then this could cause serious accidents. Some younger drivers also have this problem, but in elderly drivers, it may be due to a lack of focus.
4. Driving much slower than the speed limit. One might think that driving slower is safer, but if the senior is driving well below the speed limit, it could cause serious accidents. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the highway or side roads.
5. Stops in the middle of traffic. If there is a red light up ahead and the senior stops a long way before they get to it, this can cause an accident from behind. Stopping is important, but it should always be relevant to traffic or signals. Stopping ahead of time could indicate that they are nervous or can’t see well enough any longer.
If you suspect that your loved one is having trouble driving, bring it to their attention and take appropriate action. That’s the best kind of elderly care you could offer.
If you have an aging loved one who needs professional elderly care, or are considering home care services for yourself call Harmony Home Health and talk to our care staff. They will be attentive to your situation, and provide clear and immediate options to help you deal with the difficulties you face. Harmony Home Health provides services for the greater Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado Counties including: Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville, Cameron Park, Placerville and surrounding areas. For more information and a FREE assessment CALL (916) 933-9777.