Driving – a 16-year-old’s rite of passage, a celebratory sign of independence and adulthood. With time, driving becomes a mindless task. We drive to work, we drive to the grocery store, we drive to baseball practice – it’s second nature and, at times, we take our ability to drive for granted.
As we age, driving can become challenging, frustrating and even unsafe. Is your senior parent driving safely on the road? Copied below are 10 warning signs that can help you determine if your elderly parent should limit or stop driving:
- Almost crashing, with frequent "close calls."
- Finding dents and scrapes on the car, on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc.
- Getting lost, especially in familiar locations.
- Having trouble seeing or following traffic signals, road signs and pavement markings.
- Responding more slowly to unexpected situations, or having trouble moving their foot from the gas to the brake pedal; confusing the two pedals.
- Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance and exit ramps.
- Experiencing road rage or causing other drivers to honk or complain.
- Easily becoming distracted or having difficulty concentrating while driving.
- Having a hard time turning around to check the rear view while backing up or changing lanes.
- Receiving multiple traffic tickets or "warnings" from law enforcement officers.
If you notice any of these signs in your driving elderly parent, you may want information about how to speak with them about driver safety. AARP offers a “We Need to Talk” seminar to help families initiate productive and caring conversations with older adults about driving safety. You may also want to speak with your parent’s doctor about potential concentration or memory problems, or other physical symptoms that can jeopardize your love one’s ability to drive.
Asking your senior parent to surrender their driver’s license can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t have alternative solutions to help reassure your loved one that they will continue to maintain independence.
Before you approach your parent, call Synergy HomeCare Corona, Riverside and Anaheim Hills. Our home health caregivers provide independence to your loved one by offering transportation assistance, allowing your loved one to continue to run errands, go to doctor’s appointments, and visit with friends and family.
Synergy HomeCare Corona, Riverside and Anaheim Hills home health caregivers help ensure that your senior parent maintains their health, happiness and independence.
If you want to help your aging parent stay safe behind the wheel, encourage your parent to:
- Stay physically active. Staying physically active improves your strength and flexibility (which will help with turning the wheel, looking over your shoulder, etc.).
- Schedule regular vision and hearing tests. Some senses, such as hearing and vision, tend to decline with age.
- Drive under optimal conditions. You can improve driver safety by driving during the daytime, in good weather, on quiet roads and in familiar areas. If visibility is poor, consider delaying your trip or using public transportation.
- Plan ahead. When you get in your vehicle, be prepared. Plan your route ahead of time so that you don't need to read a map or directions while driving.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills
Synergy HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is the name you can trust in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange and Placentia for personal home care. Synergy HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. Synergy HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. Synergy HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at /agencies/ca/anaheim-hills/ca25 . The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 714- 706-1613 and [email protected] .