Your senior may have resisted exercise in the past, but if she knew that it could keep her in the driver’s seat of her car longer, do you think she might have a change of heart? Always check with your senior’s doctor about what type and amount of exercise is right for her before she starts any new programs.
Exercises to Build Her Strength
Strength and muscle tone are a huge concern for older adults, but they’re especially important if your elderly family member is planning to continue to drive. She needs to be able to manage the car and control it, which is going to require a basic amount of strength. Core strength will help her more than she realizes with driving, too, especially when she needs to turn to look over her shoulder.
Balance is another big part of continuing to be able to drive. Your elderly family member needs to be able to maintain her balance on her feet, of course, but it pays off in the car, too. If she’s feeling unstable, that can cause her to make some iffy decisions behind the wheel and she may even find herself to be more disoriented than she realizes.
Range of Motion Exercises
If your elderly family member has any difficulty with range of motion, then exercises that focus on improving range of motion can help her to be a safer driver. Even small activities while driving, like checking her blind spots, can be difficult for your senior. Focus on the areas of her body that have the least range of motion and gradually work to improve that throughout her body.
Flexibility is slightly different from range of motion, even though on the surface they seem the same. Flexibility is going to enable your senior to be able to get more comfortable in the car and to sit in her seat properly for the time that she’s driving. Flexibility is also going to factor into her being able to get into and out of the car more easily, even when her mobility is challenged in other ways.
There may come a point where your senior just isn’t able to keep driving. Having an alternative for her is crucial. Senior care providers are one of the best choices because they can help her with other situations as well as making sure she’s able to go where she needs and wants to go.