As people age, their agility, vision and fitness naturally decrease. These new physical limitations can affect many aspects of life, but one that commonly comes to mind is the ability to operate a moving vehicle. In 2012, people 65 and older accounted for 17 percent of all traffic fatalities and 9 percent of traffic injuries in the United States, 5,560 and 214,000 respectively. To ensure that your loved one is safe on the road, keep a look out for warning signs and implement prevention tactics.
Many factors can serve as a warning sign for trouble with driving. If your elderly loved one has eyesight or hearing issues, problems with reflexes or motion range, memory loss or mix-ups with medication you may want to speak with them about continuing to drive. Other warning signs include unexplained dents on the vehicle, increased citations and difficultly with the basics of driving. You can prevent an accident or death by guaranteeing that your elderly loved one visits a doctor yearly about these associated factors.
f you are considering banning your elderly loved one from driving, you must contemplate his or her transportation alternatives. Such examples are public transportation, ride sharing, senior shuttles, private drivers, walking or cycling. An agency such as Home by Choice could also assist with alternative transportation. Home by Choice caregivers can take clients to the grocery store, appointments or friend's homes. At this point in time, it may be wise to also discuss the benefits of no longer driving. Your loved one could save money, exercise more and make new friends through any of the alternatives listed above.
The most important factor to consider when asking an elderly person to discontinue driving is respect. No longer being able to drive is associated with a loss of freedom for many people. This lack of independence can severely affect your loved one's self esteem. To curb this effect, make your loved one feel included in the decision, site legitimate reasons for the decision and speak to them respectfully and calmly.