As your loved one ages, her abilities change. Some of those are directly tied to her ability to keep driving safely. When your senior family member gets to a point that it’s no longer safe for her to drive, it’s essential that she’s able to transition smoothly into other methods of transportation that don’t rely on her own abilities.
Here are a few things that can affect your senior’s ability to drive:
1. Health Conditions.
Some health conditions can make driving more difficult for your loved one as they worsen. Also, temporary situations such as recovering from surgery can make driving difficult. It’s important for your elderly family member to stay aware of how her health can impact her ability to drive on a daily basis. That way she can make good decisions about whether she should really be driving or not.
When your loved one takes medications, they help to manage her health. Unfortunately, they can also have side effects that affect her ability to drive. If your senior takes quite a few medications, the side effects can start to add up, too. It’s important to talk to her doctor about her medications and determine if any or all of them could affect her ability to drive.
3. Vision and Hearing.
If your aging parent has difficulty hearing or seeing properly, then driving safely becomes more difficult. Regular tests of both your loved one’s eyes and ears can help spot trouble before it gets to a point that she cannot drive any longer. Her doctor can perform some of these tests regularly, but it’s still a good idea to work with an audiologist and an eye doctor regularly.
4. Strength and Flexibility.
Driving requires that your loved one has the flexibility to be able to look over her shoulder and operate the vehicle. She also needs to be able to tolerate driving and have the strength to be able to maneuver the vehicle in a safe manner. If any of these aspects are difficult for your senior, then driving is not as safe for her as it once was.
If your loved one needs help with transportation, either temporarily or on a more permanent basis, hiring senior care providers can give you both peace of mind.