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Signs Your Elderly Parent Should Give Up Driving

By , 9:00 am on

The decision to take away a senior’s car keys is never easy, but it is often necessary. Family caregivers need to monitor their aging loved ones to determine if driving is no longer a safe activity. Here are some common signs that let caregivers know their aging parents shouldn’t drive.

Vision Impairment

The eye muscles tend to lose their flexibility with age, which puts seniors at risk of vision loss. Older adults with impaired vision may find it difficult to focus on objects and perform tasks such as driving. If seniors are unable to detect objects and people on the side of the road or accurately read a speedometer, they won’t be able to drive without putting their safety, and the safety of others, at risk. If your loved one is unable to see clearly, take him or her to the eye doctor to determine if he or she has glaucoma, cataracts, or another health issue that causes vision to deteriorate.

Prescription Drugs Impacting Overall Health

Growing older put seniors at a higher risk of age-related illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Living with these diseases could require your aging parent to take multiple medications each day. The side effects of these prescriptions could lead to drowsiness, confusion, tremors, or blurred vision, compromising the ability to drive safely. Ask your loved one’s doctor if alternative treatments are available. If not, your loved one should stop driving while taking the medications. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. West Hartford families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Multiple Traffic Tickets

Even a simple traffic warning could be a clue your loved one needs to stop driving. Go through your loved one’s mail and financial accounts to see if he or she has been summoned to court or had to pay traffic violations. If your loved one’s insurance increases, call the company and see if traffic tickets caused the increase. When traffic citations begin to occur frequently, you may need to take your parent’s keys away. You can ease the transition by finding transportation services your loved one can take advantage of.

Along with not being able to drive, some seniors may face difficulty in managing their daily tasks. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. West Hartford seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Damage to the Car

Bumps and dents are not normal wear and tear on a vehicle. They’re usually the sign of a negligent driver. Inspect your parent’s car a few times each week, checking for damage to the exterior. Seniors who are having difficulty driving are more likely to experience incidents that lead to nicks and dents in their vehicles. To prevent a serious injury or accident, take the keys away from your loved one immediately. Offer to take your loved one to the doctor, the grocery store, community events, and any other errands he or she has throughout the week.

Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. West Hartford, CT, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. If you need a customized care plan for your loved one, call us at (860) 372.4500 today.