The ability to drive allows seniors to maintain their independence as they manage tasks such as going to the grocery store. However, they should be aware that changes in their health or mental functioning often require adjustments to be made to their driving practices. Make sure your senior loved one follows these safety tips to prevent serious accidents.
Address Hearing and Vision Issues
Many seniors still have the ability to drive, but hearing or vision loss may make it risky. Encourage your loved one to stay on top of hearing and vision screenings that allow him or her to detect and correct developing issues before they interfere with his or her safety. For instance, correcting mild hearing loss allows your loved one to hear horns honking and the sirens of emergency vehicles so he or she can quickly get out of the way.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a home care provider Nashville, Tennessee, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Some basic car maintenance goes a long way toward helping seniors see on the road. Your loved one should keep his or her car’s windshield clean so smudges and dirt do not obscure his or her vision. The windshield wipers should always be in good condition, and the headlights need a wipe down so they shine bright enough to illuminate hazards on the road.
Keep a Safe Distance
A person’s reaction time hits its peak in the late teenage years. After that, the ability to respond quickly to changes in the environment continues to decrease. Seniors can counteract this issue by making sure to give plenty of room between their car and the other vehicle in front of them. During times of inclement weather, your loved one should make sure to increase this distance to accommodate for slower braking times.
Get a Driving Assessment
Changes in driving abilities can happen so slowly that your loved one might not notice them. Accompany your loved one on a drive. Having a second opinion allows him or her to drive with greater confidence. Your loved one might benefit from a few quick tips, or you may want to recommend he or she takes a refresher driving course.
Bring a Companion on Unfamiliar Routes
Seniors are at greater risk for danger when they drive in unfamiliar places. For instance, your loved one might miss a construction sign or be rerouted by GPS to avoid heavy traffic. If possible, accompany your loved one on new routes to help him or her navigate through unfamiliar territory.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs transportation. Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Nashville seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.
Avoid Driving in Hazardous Conditions
After retirement, seniors often have more choices about when they drive. Encourage your loved one to pay attention to the weather and plan his or her outings accordingly. For instance, your loved one could stock up on groceries a few days before rain or snow is expected. Alternatively, your loved one can run errands during the day so he or she does not have to drive at night.
If your loved one is no longer able to drive safely, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Nashville respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. Give us a call at (615) 326-9849 to learn about our flexible home care plans.