Your senior may very much want to continue driving, but if she’s having some health issues, she may not be able to do so. Here are some of the bigger concerns that could stop your elderly family member from driving.
Being Physically Inactive
When your senior isn’t as physically active as she used to be, she can lose muscle tone and even experience a reduced range of motion. She may no longer have the strength to be able to handle the car, even if it includes features like power steering. If your senior can’t look over her shoulder, she can’t properly keep a lookout for safety issues, either. Starting an exercise program under the supervision of her doctor can help your elderly family member to regain some of what she’s lost, as long as she’s not experienced other issues.
Health Conditions that Are Out of Control
Some health conditions can take a huge toll on your senior and her body, even affecting her ability to drive safely. If she’s taking medications, some of the side effects of those medications can make driving difficult or even dangerous. Your elderly family member’s doctor is the first step in determining whether your elderly family member is still healthy enough to be able to drive. He or she may recommend in-home elderly care to help with errands, appointments, and getting to social activities.
Uncorrected Vision and Hearing Loss
If your elderly family member isn’t able to see well or to hear well, then driving is possibly going to be more difficult and it will definitely be more dangerous. Regular vision and hearing checks can help your elderly family member to spot issues before they become too much of a hindrance to her ability to drive. Your senior may also have specific issues, such as night blindness, that requires her to take some special precautions if she’s still driving.
Significant Memory Problems
Memory issues can be extremely problematic for your senior if she wants to continue to drive. She may forget where she’s going or become lost in formerly familiar surroundings, which is extremely dangerous for your senior. Talk with your senior’s doctor about any potential memory issues your senior is having to determine if the issues are significant enough to affect her ability to drive.
It may not be too late for your senior to continue driving if she’s interested in correcting what can be corrected. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to find alternatives to driving that help to keep your senior safe, such as hiring in-home elderly care companions to drive and seeking out transportation options in your area.