For many seniors, maintaining the ability to drive is key to an independent lifestyle, but sometimes anything from loss of vision to disability can get in the way. While having to give up the keys can certainly be a step back, there are a number of ways family caregivers can help their loved ones keep their independence.
The reason driving is so important to older adults is that it gives them the opportunity to perform all the tasks necessary for independent living, whether it’s running errands or going grocery shopping. This is where companion care providers can help. Although seniors may not be able to drive themselves, having someone drive for them can still allow them to get out and about.
Although companionship care can help seniors maintain their independence, it’s still difficult to know when they are no longer fit to be on the road. Vision loss can occur gradually, and they may not notice any changes to reaction time until they’ve already been in an accident.
The best way to measure driving abilities is for family members to closely observe their loved one’s behavior. For instance, if they become more frequently disoriented around the house or have several minor dents on their car, it may be time to discuss whether it’s time to give up the keys.