The question of whether your senior should still be driving or not can be a delicate one. You might need to do some research on the sly before you and your senior talk.
Look at Whether She’s Able to Access All the Features in Her Car
As your senior ages, her mobility and other factors can change. For instance, she might lose some height, which can change how easy it is for her to see over her dashboard. Do a little investigating about how easy it is for your elderly family member to access all of the features of her car. If she can’t see well or can’t turn to see over her shoulder, that can be a sign of trouble. If she’s relying more heavily on mirrors and backup cameras than she is on turning and looking, you need to do a little more digging.
Determine if She’s Changed Her Driving Patterns
Your senior’s driving patterns might have changed, too. That might mean that she’s taking a different path to her doctor’s office or to the grocery store. Or she might be driving only at certain times of day when she used to drive at all times of the day. She might have even stopped driving completely, making excuses for not going places.
Be a Passenger for a Short Trip
If you haven’t been for a ride in your senior’s car with her as the driver in a while, it might be time to do just that. Go for a short trip to run an errand or to pick something up. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, either. Be careful not to criticize her driving overtly but do notice how she’s driving and how she controls the car. If you notice any issues, they might need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Find Out What Her Doctor Has to Say
Your senior’s doctor may have some input on whether she can drive or not, too. Depending on what might be going on with her health, driving may be getting significantly more difficult for her. Her doctor may also be able to talk to your senior about her ability to drive in a way that she’s more inclined to take seriously.
See if She’s Open to Other Options
Providing other options to your senior can make a world of difference in whether she’s willing to go ahead and put away the keys. For instance, when she knows that she can trust elder care providers to be there and to be ready when she’s ready to go somewhere, it will be easier for her to rest easy with that solution.
Keep in mind that this is not an easy situation for your elderly family member. There are big pieces of her identity tied into her ability to drive and losing that ability can start to make her feel as if she’s losing pieces of herself.
Excerpt: It might be time for your elderly family member to stop driving, but how can you tell?
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Deer Park, WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.