Driving provides seniors with a sense of freedom and independence. It can help them get around and stay mobile. However, statistics show that the risk of getting involved in a car accident increases as one age. This is why it is crucial for families to keep a close eye on their aging loved ones’ driving habits and abilities.
Warning Signs It Is Time to Stop Driving
Live Life At Home, a trusted source of live-in care in Irvine, California, lists down some warning signs that indicate it is time for your senior loved one to stop driving.
- Making sudden lane changes
- Increased confusion while driving
- Suddenly accelerating without reason
- Drifting into other lanes
- Difficulty seeing objects, other vehicles, and pedestrians
- Decreased reaction times
- Getting lost easily, even in familiar places
- Failing to use turn signals when changing lanes
- Missing or ignoring stop signs and traffic signals
- Driving considerably slower than the posted speed limit
- Dents and scrapes on their car and surrounding objects where they park and drive (i.e. fences, garage doors, mailboxes, etc.)
Addressing Aging and Driving Problems
There is no universal cut-off age when a person should stop driving. However, if you start observing any of the above warning signs, it is time to talk to your loved one. Do not wait for an accident to occur.
When addressing this issue, be understanding of your loved one’s feelings. Many seniors consider losing the ability to drive to be a loss of their self-sufficiency, freedom, and independence. Have an honest conversation.
If they refuse to stop driving, do not just forcibly take away their car keys as this may lead to a fight. Instead, suggest a driving test to evaluate their ability to drive safely and responsibly. Driving assessments are available at your local DMV office. If your loved one fails their test, then they will know that it is truly the time to forfeit their driving privileges. If your loved one still refuses to stop driving or refuses to participate in a driving assessment, you may have to report them.
The Bottom Line
For many seniors, losing the ability to drive is a scary concept. Many of them see it as a loss of their independence and freedom. Some may also think that they can no longer go out since they can no longer drive around whenever they want to. However, this does not necessarily have to be the case. As a trusted provider of in-home care in Irvine, California, we offer transportation assistance to help seniors get around whenever they need to.