Some caregivers and seniors believe that age is the big factor that decides whether someone should stop driving or not. But in reality, age doesn’t have as much to do with this big decision as other factors do.
Here are some of the other considerations that should go into making the driving decision.
Can She Respond to Situations Quickly?
Driving is about responding quickly and accurately to what’s going on outside the vehicle. If your senior’s reflexes are slowing down, she might find driving to be a challenge. Likewise, how her brain responds to those changing situations matters, too. Your elderly family member needs to be able to demonstrate that she’s aware of what’s going on and that she can adapt to what’s happening.
Does She Get Distracted Easily?
How distracted does your senior get in general? If she’s often interrupting herself during normal daily activities, driving might be a big challenge for her. When she’s driving, your senior needs to be able to focus on what’s going on both inside and outside the car. If she frequently finds that she’s confused about what’s happening or that she’s not sure about what just happened, she may be too distracted to drive safely.
How Is Her Vision?
If your elderly family member isn’t able to see well, that might be a deciding factor on its own. Being able to see obstacles and situations outside of the vehicle is a crucial part of being a safe driver. If your senior hasn’t been to her eye doctor in a while, she needs to go as soon as possible. What her eye doctor says might have something to do with whether she keeps driving or not.
What about the Car?
And what’s going on with the car itself? Is your senior keeping up with maintenance concerns? How does the outside of the car look? All of this is vital information and if you haven’t been paying attention to it before, it needs to be on your radar now. Dents, scratches, dings, and more can all mean that your senior is having some spatial difficulty while driving.
One option your senior might be open to is having home care providers available to drive for her. Home care providers can give her transportation help, companionship, and help with other tasks but doesn’t leave her stuck at home. She may not like the idea much at first, but if this is the safest option for your senior, she’ll start to come around.