As your aging family member grows older, there are aspects of her life and her health that change how well she drives. Some of these factors are physical while others are mental or medicinal in nature.
Her Motor Skills and Reflexes Change
Reflexes definitely slow down as your aging family member grows older. Her motor skills also change and when you combine those changes with physical changes, driving can be so much more difficult now. Stiff joints and limited range of motion have a huge impact on whether your senior is driving safely or is a danger to herself out on the road.
Her Vision and Hearing Can Change
Both hearing and vision play a huge role in driving safely. If your aging family member is having difficulty with either of these two senses, then driving is that much more difficult. Make sure that your elderly family member gets regular vision and hearing screenings so that you can ensure she’s got full use of both senses.
She May Be Taking Medications
Medications can be an incredible tool for your elderly family member, but very few of them don’t have side effects. Some of those side effects, such as dizziness or drowsiness, might make driving downright dangerous for your elderly family member. And if she’s taking several medications that make her drowsy, those side effects become compounded.
Her Health May Affect Her Judgment
Some health conditions, such as , affect your senior’s judgment. It may happen so gradually that your elderly family member believes that she’s making good decisions still. Your aging family member’s doctor can run tests to determine how badly her judgment is affected so that she knows when it might be time to think about setting the keys aside.
She Does Have Experience on Her Side
While your senior does have a lot working against her in this situation, there are some facts on her side, too. She’s likely been driving for quite a while, which means that she’s got the benefit of experience. The longer your senior has been driving, the more the right actions may have become a part of how she drives. This doesn’t mean your senior can lean on experience alone, unfortunately.
If your elderly family member does feel that her ability to drive has been affected consider other solutions, like hiring senior care providers to take over the driving. Then your elderly family member can relax and be a passenger.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior 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.