Having to give up the car keys is a sensitive realization to come to terms with. For seniors, this difficulty stems from a fear of losing independence. Unfortunately, with age, being behind the wheel can become an unsafe situation. Seniors put themselves at risk and can become a hazard for other drivers as well. If you’re a concerned family caregiver, Home Care Assistance of Annapolis has listed a few warning signs indicating that the aging adult in your life isn’t safe on the road.
Perhaps the most obvious sign that driving has become unsafe is having frequent accidents or “close calls”. These often are a result of misjudging the distances between cars and medians and being unable to properly time lane switches in a safe manner. Your loved one may also do things like ride the bumper of another car or drive too close to the edge of their lane.
Physical Damage to the Vehicle
If you are unable to observe your loved one driving, look for new dents or scratches on your loved one’s vehicle. This is a tell-tale sign that driving may no longer be a safe activity. When you visit your loved one, also keep a careful eye out for parking tickets or moving violations which are often sent in the mail.
Changes in Health
Obvious medical illness may put restrictions on driving. However, it’s not always easy to determine hindering conditions. One major sign is not being able to fully and quickly turn around to check for cars in their blind spots. Relying heavily on rear-view and side mirrors is an indicator that this is a problem.
Those starting to have problems with their memory may find themselves getting lost while driving. Seniors may not remember their current location or forget where they are going. This may create driving anxiety in some. Others may avoid driving at night or in certain weather conditions.
If any of these signs seem familiar, it may be time to have the conversation. While it is often a difficult and sensitive topic to discuss, it is one that must be had to ensure the safety of your aging parent or loved one. When having the conversation, be sure to express your concern and provide them with alternatives for getting around. Whether it’s helping them out with driving a few days a week or hiring a part-time caregiver in Annapolis to assist with errand running and household chores, giving them options will allow them to maintain some sense of independence and control.
For more information about options for senior assistance, contact Home Care Assistance of Annapolis today. We are a trusted provider of hourly and live-in care in Annapolis and have a team of highly trained and compassionate caregivers who can help seniors with a wide range of things from transportation and medication reminders to in-home help with cooking and personal care. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Care Manager today at 443-302-2771 and maximize the safety and comfort of your loved one.