For most caregivers, assessing your senior’s driving isn’t about keeping her from being able to drive at all. It’s about making sure that she’s as safe as she can possibly be while still being able to enjoy her freedom.
Get Some Medical Clearance
The first step is to talk with your senior’s doctor about whether and how any of her health conditions affect her ability to drive. You may want to include an eye exam, as well, especially if your senior hasn’t been to the eye doctor in a while. Once you’ve got medical clearance, you can move on to other means of helping her to keep her driver’s license.
Take a Driving Skills Assessment
Many driving schools or even occupational therapists offer driving evaluations. These are a way for you and your elderly family member to get an objective, third-party view of how well she’s driving. They can look at the physical impact of driving on your aging adult and then make recommendations up to and including recommending that your senior seek other alternatives to driving herself.
Agree to “Grounding” Rules
Assuming that your senior is able to continue driving safely, you may want to set down a list of “grounding” rules. These are situations and circumstances under which your elderly family member voluntarily avoids driving. This might be when the weather is terrible, when visibility is not good, or simply when your senior doesn’t feel well enough to drive. Having options available, such as being able to rely on home care providers to drive, that are free from judgment can help her to adhere to these rules.
Choose Routes Wisely
Every town has those areas that are congested at pretty much any time of day or that offer other driving challenges. Help your aging adult narrow down which of those areas exist in your town and work out ways to help her to find the safest and most comfortable routes when she’s driving.
When your senior knows that you trust her to make the right decisions, she may be more open to sticking to some of the ground rules that you establish about driving. It’s all about keeping her as safe as possible.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.