Senior citizens face many serious problems when driving. Aging slows reaction times and reduces vision, especially at night. As a result, drivers over the age of 70, and especially those 85 and older, have the highest rate of fatal accidents in the United States, injuring more than 200,000 seniors a year in 2012. An average of 586 older drivers are injured every day, according to the CDC.
As a caregiver, be alert for these four early warning indicators that it may be time to hire senior care in Delaware County to take over driving duties for your loved one.
Confusion About Traffic Signs
One of the first signs of a driving problem is confusion about traffic signs. Your loved one may attempt to be overly careful by stopping at intersections where there is no stop light or stop sign. Seniors may run through other intersections without noticing stop or yield signs. Confusion about traffic signs puts every driver on the road at risk, and may lead to serious injury or death.
Calls for Directions
Memory loss is common during the aging process, and sometimes even the most routine tasks become challenging. The memory loss often becomes evident when your loved one struggles to find his or her way home from someplace they know well. When memory loss occurs on the road, your loved one may respond with panic or irrational decisions.
A sudden increase in dings and minor damage to your loved one’s vehicle is a warning sign that he or she is unable to navigate the tight turns in a parking lot or accurately judge distance. Your loved one’s driving skills will only continue to degenerate, which could lead to physical injury or worse.
Hesitancy to Take a Driving Exam
Many states require seniors to take driving exams more frequently once they reach a certain age. Your loved one may know that they are incapable of passing the test on their own, so they hesitate to take the test; some may even attempt to drive without a license. You should make arrangements for a driver and possibly other senior care if your loved one is unwilling to taking a driving test to renew an expired license.
Seniors may find the loss of independence associated with the inability to drive frustrating and isolating.
To assure their safety and the safety of others on the road, be aware of these potential problems. If possible, talk about them in advance and discuss options for allowing seniors to maintain some independence and travel wherever they need to go. Local senior centers may have shuttles or a neighbor could offer some assistance if you are too far away or otherwise unable to drive them. A Delaware County senior care service can also provide transportation to doctor visits and more on a regular basis.
Neighborly Home Care offers excellent senior care in Delaware County. Through a suite of in-home services, Neighborly Home Care’s trained professionals provide supplemental support that increases the quality of life for your loved ones and helps to keep them safe. Driving services from Neighborly Home Care ensures your loved one can still make every doctor’s appointment, attend every social engagement, and complete every errand, even when you are unavailable to do the driving yourself.
Contact Neighborly Home Care today at 610-658-5822 for more information about in-home senior care services.
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