When Should Your Aging Parent Stop Driving?

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Can I Tell When My Elderly Parent Needs to Quit Driving in Tampa Bay, FL

The negative side of aging is that seniors begin to lose many of their abilities, such as their vision, memory, and mobility. When this happens, family caregivers need to step in and determine what daily tasks are safe for seniors and what they need to let go of, including their ability to drive independently. Here are some of the warning signs that indicate your aging parent should stop driving. 

Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s are age-related conditions that can make it difficult for seniors to continue with many of their daily activities, such as driving. The conditions can cause seniors to become confused, forgetful, and agitated. If these symptoms occur while your loved one is operating a motor vehicle, he or she could sideswipe another car, run over objects or people, get lost, or violate traffic laws. Monitor the progression of these conditions and speak with a doctor about when it’s time to take away your loved one’s driving privileges.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Clearwater live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life

Inadequate Driving Skills

Go on driving outings with your loved one from time to time to allow you to see his or her driving abilities firsthand. While in the car, be on the lookout for maneuverability skills and delayed responses. If you notice your loved one hesitates too long at green lights, fails to stop at stop signs, or follows other vehicles too closely, it may be time to take his or her keys away. Don’t wait until an accident occurs before you step in to make a decision. It’s best to have the talk early and discuss other transportation options, as this could make your loved one less resistant to giving up his or her driving privileges. 

Damage to the Vehicle 

Seniors who are having difficulty driving because of vision, hearing, or cognitive issues may get into accidents that cause noticeable damage to their vehicles, such as dents and scratches. Monitor your loved one’s driving by searching for damage to the car. You can also look for warning signs outside the home, such as scuffed driveways and damaged mailboxes or flower beds. If you notice this type of damage, it may be time to take your loved one’s car keys away and provide senior-friendly transportation options. 

Driving may not be the only safety concern you have about your parent, so you may find extra peace of mind by hiring a professional caregiver. Families looking for top-rated in-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

Traffic Tickets 

Seniors who are unable to think clearly may have difficulty following traffic regulations and could unintentionally break the law. You can monitor your parent’s driving record to see if he or she has received any driving citations. Your parent’s insurance provider will generally have this information, and because you are your loved one’s primary caregiver, the provider may share these details with you. If not, ask your loved one to request a copy of his or her driving record, and look for citations and point deductions. You can also monitor your loved one’s mail and look for traffic tickets. To prevent your loved one from harming him or herself and other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, he or she may need to stop driving and rely on others for transportation.  

Even if your loved one has to give up driving, he or she can still enjoy a high level of independence. Clearwater at-home care 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. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862 to learn more about our customized care plans.

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