a When Do Seniors Need to Give Up the Car Keys for Good?

Signs an Older Adult Shouldn’t Drive Anymore

By 9  am on

Older drivers are sometimes judged unfairly, and many people automatically assume seniors can’t drive well, although some are very good behind the wheel. It’s not age that determines when a person should stop driving. It’s certain physical conditions that indicate it’s time to hand over the keys for good. Here are some signs family caregivers should be on the lookout for. 

Problems with Eyesight

At about the age of 35, eyesight begins to change, largely due to pressure on the eyes, causing them to become slightly misshapen. Although this can be helped with eyeglasses, seniors are at risk for vision loss, which glasses often cannot correct. For instance, older adults have a higher risk of developing glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. It may be difficult for them to see road signs, speed limit signs, pedestrians, and other cars when they experience vision loss. 

Family caregivers who have difficulty providing transportation for their elderly loved ones while managing other responsibilities should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Home care service experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Forgetfulness

Although many people are forgetful and a certain amount of memory loss is expected with aging, it can be a red flag in some seniors. This can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s or dementia. If this is the case, seniors may forget how to drive as well, and it’s possible they may not even be aware of what they’re doing. 

Helping seniors remain safe while they age can be challenging. In Rocklin, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Other Physical Limitations

As people age, their coordination, strength, and range of motion diminish. This doesn’t just affect a person’s gait or ability to reach for items. It can also affect reaction time while driving. This means elderly people are at greater risk for running red lights, hitting pedestrians, and colliding with other vehicles. If your loved one has difficulty moving around, he or she will also have difficulty with driving. Look for signs such as falling or frequently dropping items.

It can be difficult to approach a discussion about handing over the keys with a senior loved one. Often, seniors cling to their independence, and giving up driving is hard for most older adults. The best any caregiver or family member can do is be patient and understanding. If possible, have another elderly family member or friend present to speak from experience and help your loved one see the positive side of giving up the car keys for good.

The inability to drive is just one of the many issues older adults face in their golden years. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Rocklin in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call (916) 226-3737 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.

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