The time may come when you’ll have to regularly monitor your aging loved one’s driving ability to make sure he or she stays safe. Use this time to notice any behaviors or habits that could put your loved one in danger on the road. The following warning signs may indicate it’s time for your loved one to hand over the car keys.
1. Development of a Health Condition
If your loved one has a serious mental or physical ailment, it could compromise his or her dexterity and judgment. Health issues like leg pains and stiffness in the neck could be enough of a reason to start reducing the time behind the wheel. If you have questions about your loved one’s ability to drive, make sure he or she gets regular exams and discusses the topic of driving safety with the doctor.
Older adults who need someone to drive them to important appointments and social events should consider professional in-home care. Pembroke Pines home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
2. Lack of Road Awareness
Observe your loved one as he or she drives. Notice if your parent regularly drives through red lights, misses exits, stops at green lights, or runs stop signs. These types of misjudgments could jeopardize his or her safety as well as others on the road. Size up the situation before an accident happens, and be sympathetic when discussing the possibility of driving less because it represents a loss of independence. You can also take your loved one to a local licensing agency or driving school that can accurately evaluate his or her driving ability.
3. Difficulty Remembering Locations
It’s normal for your loved one to get lost when driving to a new destination, but continually having difficulties driving around his or her own neighborhood could indicate a bigger issue. If your loved one relies on GPS to get home from running errands or going to the local grocery store, suggest a medical examination, as it could be a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly care Pembroke Pines, FL, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Poor Driving Techniques
If your loved one leans over the steering wheel, holds the wheel very tightly, drives too slow, or drifts in and out of the lane regularly, it could be an indication he or she is nervous about driving and trying to not make mistakes while on the road. These cues might seem minor, but ignoring them could cause a serious accident later on.
5. Vision Loss
Your loved one needs to be able to read road signs and dashboard instruments correctly and detect pedestrians along the road. Older eyes are at risk for glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye diseases that can impair vision and have a negative impact on driving. Encourage your loved one to limit or stop driving if you suspect he or she has vision impairment.
Aging adults are often reluctant to stop driving due to the fear of losing their independence. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Pembroke Pines seniors can depend on. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly parent, give us a call at (954) 374-8273 today.