It’s natural to worry about your aging relative’s driving abilities as they grow older. And, there’s often good reason to do so. Getting older causes physical changes that can make it hard to maneuver the body in ways that are necessary to drive. In addition, some seniors suffer from vision loss or cognitive problems that may make driving unsafe. Knowing how aging affects driving ability can help you to spot when it is time for an older adult to stop driving.
Health Concerns that Make Driving Difficult
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the chances of sustaining an injury in an accident or being killed in one increase as a person gets older. There are many things that can make driving difficult for seniors. Some of them are:
Stiffness and Weakness: Joints may become stiff with age due to arthritis and muscles typically get weaker. This can make it harder for the senior to turn their head to see what is coming. They may also have difficulty pressing the brake pedal hard enough when they need to stop quickly. They may also have trouble turning the steering wheel.
Low Vision: There are many eye diseases that are more likely with age, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Poor vision can make it hard to read signs or see something coming.
Hearing Problems: When hearing is poor, the senior might not hear when someone honks their horn or when there are sirens. They may also have trouble hearing noises their car makes that indicate a problem.
Cognitive Changes: Older adults who have memory problems or cognitive issues may make poor judgements while driving. They might become easily flustered or irritated by other drivers on the road. In addition, they could become lost.
In addition to physical problems, there are some medications that can have side effects that make driving unsafe. Some medicines even come with warnings about driving. They can make seniors dizzy or sleepy, which may make them unable to drive safely.
When it is time for your older family member to quit driving, homecare can help them to maintain their social connections and get to places they need to go. Senior homecare providers can drive older adults to friends’ houses or to attend social engagements. A homecare aide can also provide transportation to medical appointments and the pharmacy. Homecare providers can even assist your loved one to run errands and shop for groceries.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Homecare Services in Naples FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.
In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.
Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.