How to Keep Your Senior Driving Safely
Just because your loved one has reached a certain age, it doesn’t necessarily mean she needs to quit driving altogether. Many seniors can still drive but they may just need to be a little more vigilant about ensuring that they are driving safely. When it comes time for them to hang up the keys for good, a home care provider can be there to offer transportation for your parent.
Let’s look at some ways your aging loved one can help make sure he’s still able to drive safely around town.
- Keep those eyes in good shape. If your loved one is driving, it’s more important than ever that he keep on top of his eyesight and get new glasses when needed. If the glaring sun is an issue, prescription sunglasses may be a must as well.
- Keep tabs on hearing as well. Hearing may not always seem to be a necessary sense for driving, but it is very important. Your loved one needs to be able to hear when others honk at him in warning or hear an emergency vehicle coming up from behind in order to move to the side of the road.
- Keep track of medication side effects. When a new prescription is filled, take the time to ask the doctor and pharmacist if the medication can be used while driving. You’ll want to know if causes sleepiness or a slow down in reflexes. If it’s a temporary medication and has those side effects, your loved one should look for help from his home care provider for rides while he’s taking the medication.
- Keep the car in tip-top shape. Help your loved one drive more safely by ensuring his vehicle is in the best of shape. Look at the tires to ensure the treads are in good shape for traveling on wet or icy roads. Check the windshield wipers to make sure they’ll be able to keep the windshield clear during an unexpected downpour. And check that all of the exterior lights are working and providing good illumination of the road ahead of him and behind him.
- Look at replacing his car. If your loved one needs a different car to help him drive better, you might want to consider a car that suits his needs better. Perhaps he needs to change from a standard shift to an automatic shift. Or you might want to look at a car that is easier to get in and out of.
- Finally, remind your loved one about safe driving practices. Knowing that responses often slow down as a person ages, it’s more important than ever to not exceed the speed limit, give plenty of space between him and the car in front of him, and turn off all distractions while driving.
Your loved one may need to make some adjustments so that he can still enjoy the road, but aging doesn’t mean he needs to completely give the wheel to someone else.