Driving has always been a rite of passage for many of us. The freedom to go where we want, when we want, is something we don’t always think about not having anymore. However, there comes a time as we age that it is no longer safe for ourselves or others to get behind the wheel. This moral responsibility may be hard for some to swallow, but here are five reasons you may need to intervene with an elderly loved one and have them avoid driving:
- They Caused An Accident
Nothing is more apparent that someone should stop driving than an automobile accident resulting in injuries or death due to physical limitations. While nearly 38% of Americans are involved in a car crash each year, according to the CDC, statistics looking at the at-fault driver indicate that men and women 74 years old and older typically stop operating a motor vehicle after an accident.
- Doctor’s Orders
Perhaps the best critic of someone’s health and wellness combined with their capabilities to drive is a physician. Vision problems, strokes, seizures and other diagnosis that impair reaction time and judgement make it unsafe for seniors and all drivers to operate motor vehicles. Talk with your loved one’s doctor to see what they recommend.
- It’s Stressful
At times you may notice them grumble about how it seems everyone is driving faster these days and they may even tell you they are avoiding highways and interstates because it causes anxiety. These are red flags that it may be time to have someone help drive them to appointments, the grocery store, and other places they want to go.
- You’ve Witnessed Recklessness
If you watch your children being picked up by their grandparents and have concerns about their driving habits, it’s certainly time to talk. Maybe you met with them for lunch and saw them pull out in front of someone or run a stop sign. The conversation may be uncomfortable at first, but let them know it’s out of love.
We all miss our desired exit ramp and forget where we’re going once and awhile, but if your loved one is doing it frequently, there is cause for concern. Memory loss comes with age and forgetting to get gas, perform routine car maintenance, or even where places are can lead them to be stranded. Extreme cold or heat affect seniors rapidly and taking a chance on them having to fend for themselves is a risk that shouldn’t be taken.
The easiest way to deal with the possible anger or frustration from telling them they should relinquish their driving privileges is point out the benefits and be supportive. Selling a vehicle and eliminating monthly car insurance payments could be a viable source of income for them. The money saved on gas alone could be spent on some of their hobbies or a vacation. If they are in walking distance from shops and stores it could improve their health by getting out and about on foot rather than relying on driving. If not, they can expand their social circle by taking public transportation and meeting new people on a senior citizen shuttle. A senior care service like Your Choice Senior Care can provide safe transportation and companionship as well. Overall, the change of pace they will experience is something busy people would cherish. Remind them that slowing down is beneficial for mental health and clarity.
For more information about Your Choice Senior Care call 205-382-6222 in the Birmingham area and 251-599-8101 in Baldwin or Mobile County. To email us directly, please send us a detailed message to: Info@yourchoiceseniorcare.com. We’d love to make your life easier with superior home care you can rely on from a local, family owned, provider. Find us on Facebook for exciting news and events!