Many seniors don’t like the idea of giving up their cars or driving around because it means they are getting older and less independent. The truth is, if your senior loved one can see well, knows the rules of the road still, can pass to get their license, they may be fine enough to drive. However, if you start noticing certain things like dents or not being able to see, it’s time to ask your loved one to stop driving. When you ask your senior mom or dad to stop driving, make sure you have a way to get them transportation when they need it. This may come from home care assistance, family members, or cab services. Your loved one will still need ways to get places, and they still want to be as independent as possible.
Here are some ways you can tell if your senior should stop driving:
Too Many Dents in the Car
Your senior loved one may be driving around but if they keep hitting things you will notice very obvious dents in their car. It’s best to keep an eye on their car to notice any new dents or scratches. If you are starting to notice more and more, they should give up driving. Home care assistance can be set up so your loved one still has transportation during this adjustment period. On the other hand, if your loved one’s car is pristine, it may be a sign they are still more than capable of driving around town and doing all of their own chores and errands. It all just depends on your elderly mom or dad and what they can do.
Traffic Tickets More Frequently
If your loved one has never gotten a traffic ticket, that is wonderful and usually a sign they are a careful and good driver. If they suddenly start receiving traffic tickets and need more and more help to pay them off, this could be a sign they are no longer suitable to drive. Getting one traffic ticket doesn’t necessarily mean they should give up driving, but if they are starting to get multiple, that is when it becomes concerning. Ask them why they are getting so many tickets and if there is something wrong that you can fix before asking them to give up their driving.
Squinting and Can’t See
When your loved one is squinting at home a lot, they are also probably doing it on the road, which is not safe. It is not the act of squinting that is dangerous, but if they miss things or can’t see people on the road or other cars, that is what will cause problems. If they cannot see well, they can cause road accidents that are dangerous for themselves and others. Your loved one should be getting their eyes checked regularly, and if they have had changes to their vision, it may be time to ask them to give up their keys.
Keep in mind that not all seniors have these issues, and many people can continue driving well into their 80s. Don’t ask your loved one to give up this form of independence unless absolutely necessary.