For seniors, driving means independence!
When your father is getting older and is showing signs of some challenges, especially those that may affect his safety, you want to address them as early as possible. One potential safety issue for seniors as they get older is driving.
You might have difficulty determining whether your father is actually unsafe behind the wheel, mostly because you are never in the car with him driving. Here are a few tips that might help you spot potential problems and, if you do, you need to address them with him as soon as possible.
He is slow to react.
When people get older they are slower in their reactions. This is related to the natural process of aging. It may take him a few moments to react to a certain stimuli or something that occurred right in front of him and then his physical capabilities are diminished due to less strength and mobility.
If he is not reacting to certain things around him as quickly as he did in the past, such as an item slipping from his grasp and he doesn’t seem to even react to it before it hits the ground, he may not be reacting as quickly behind the wheel as he needs to.
You know full well just how quick things can happen when driving down the road.
He might be frightened or tentative.
If your father seems tentative about running certain errands, ask him why. He may be frightened to drive, but feels that there are no other options available to him. This is where you can advise him there are plenty of safer alternatives available.
If your father does not see as well as he did in his younger years, he may be a liability when out on the road. It’s important that he can see clearly, and not just those traffic signs. He needs to be able see signs, other cars, and his peripheral vision needs to be acute.
He has some accidents in his recent past.
These might have been minor issues, such as hitting the wall in the garage, backing up and bumping into the mailbox, or something else, and the authorities certainly didn’t need to be called for them, but they can be clear signs that he’s not safe behind the wheel.
If you spot any of the signs it’s time to sit down and talk about his safety behind the wheel. He may get defensive, but it’s time to keep him safe, even if he can’t admit it’s time to give up his license to drive.
When you know your aging loved-one needs help with transportation, consider in-home companion care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.