One of the hallmarks of independence is driving – the ability to go wherever, whenever we choose. Of all the losses of independence experienced through aging, being no longer able to drive can be one of the most devastating. However, for everyone’s safety, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the driving ability of your elderly loved ones.
Caring.com suggests getting into the passenger seat with the senior at the wheel to best assess his or her focus and skill level. During that time, be mindful of the following:
- Damage to the car: When entering and exiting the vehicle, check for any dings or dents that could indicate careless driving.
- Attention level of the driver: Is he or she distracted easily, overly focused on changing the radio settings or with conversations? Pay attention as well to any types of driving the person may be intentionally avoiding, such as on highways, at night, or in the rain, which can indicate that he or she is aware of a specific decline in ability in those areas.
- Unsafe driving: Of particular concern are any reckless, inattentive or delayed behaviors such as tailgating, going above or below the speed limit, drifting out of the lane, and slow reactions to traffic lights and other vehicles.
- Maintenance needs: During your drive, notice the settings on the dashboard for gas level, oil change required, and any other maintenance issues that may have been neglected.
If you notice these red flags in your senior loved one’s driving ability, and are concerned that it may be time to give up the keys, Heaven at Home can help. We offer full transportation services to keep him or her actively engaged in life even when driving is no longer an option. From attending outings and events to doctors’ appointments and running errands, or whatever brings joy and better health to your loved one, we’ll provide a safe ride and a friendly companion all in one. Call us at 866-381-0500 to get started!