At some point, you’re going to need to do a bit of detective work in regards to your senior’s driving habits. The easiest way to do this is to ride along with her as she drives. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for as you relax in the passenger seat.
Check out the Car Itself Regularly
The exterior of the car itself can tell you a lot about your elderly family member’s driving. If there are dings or dents, you may need to do some investigating. Start making it a habit to examine the car regularly and you’ll be able to spot new marks quickly.
She’s Following Basic Safety Considerations
No matter how long someone has been driving, there are some basic safety tasks they take care of every time they get behind the wheel. Your senior should put on her seatbelt and at the very least check her mirrors to make sure they’re adjusted properly. If she’s not doing these things, it could be a sign she’s ignoring other safety considerations.
She’s Not Distracted or Nervous While Driving
While your elderly family member is driving, she should be relaxed and alert. If she’s distracted, nervous, or tense, she may be afraid of driving. Fear or distraction only during certain times, such as when it’s raining, might be an indication that she wants to be more careful. More likely, though, is the concern that your senior is unsafe during those times.
She’s Following the Rules of the Road
If your elderly family member is speeding, tailgating, or engaging in other driving behaviors that are against the rules of the road, that’s a bad sign. It can mean that she’s flat-out ignoring those rules, of course, but it can also mean that she doesn’t remember that she’s supposed to follow those rules. Her driving shouldn’t make you nervous if she’s driving properly.
The Car’s Warning Lights Are Off
When your elderly family member turns on the car, make sure that you peek at the dash. Most cars light up all of the warning lights immediately and then afterward, only the “problem” lights remain lit. If your senior is maintaining her car correctly, all of the warning lights should be off. Depending on the warning lights, you may want to take over car maintenance for her.
If you’re seeing things that make you uncomfortable about your senior’s driving, it might be time to hire elderly care providers to do the driving for her. She’ll be safer and she’ll still be able to go where she wants, when she wants to go. But you’ll feel more comfortable knowing she’s in good hands.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Bordentown, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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