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When Is It No Longer Safe For Seniors To Drive?

By admin, 8:00 am on May 30, 2014

The freedom of driving wherever you want to go is one of the great pleasures of life. However, as people age, new challenges arise which can make driving more dangerous for the senior and for others on the road. Because these challenges often occur gradually, many seniors do not realize the hazard they pose while driving. It is up to family members to help their elderly loved ones come to term with their limitations, deciding if it is time to hand over the keys. If you need help deciding whether your loved one is safe on the road, look out for these warning signs presented by Home Care Assistance of Phoenix.

Vision Changes

Many older adults must cope with a variety of vision changes that can range from cataracts to macular degeneration. Because driving requires clear vision, seniors that have ongoing vision problems should probably give up driving and allow family members, friends or caregivers in Phoenix to provide transportation for their needs.

Muscle and Joint Problems

Although not all muscle and joint problems can interfere with driving ability, certain movements are required for safe driving. The driver must be able to get in and out of the car without assistance. Turning around sufficiently to allow vision at the rear of the vehicle, proper control of reflexes that manipulate the accelerator and brake system are all important considerations for safe driving.

Hearing Problems

Hearing problems can also be a hazard for driving. The sounding of horns from other vehicles can alert drivers to impending collisions. If the senior is able to use a hearing aid device, it may provide sufficient hearing ability for safe driving. If this is not possible, it’s probably better to give up driving and arrange for alternative methods of transportation.

Cognitive Issues

Frequent lapses in memory can create hazards for the driver is they forget where to turn, where they live or how to manipulate vehicle controls. In this case, turning in the keys to the car can provide safety for the senior and for others on the road.

It is important to be aware of changes that your loved one is facing, both physical and mental, to ensure they are safe on the road. If you are unsure of how to detect changes, consider booking an appointment with the doctor who will be able to evaluate your loved one’s current abilities and determine if driving is still a safe activity.