Seniors sometimes encounter changes in their health that affect their ability to drive. However, this does not always mean they must hang up their keys. The decision to stop driving is one that must be carefully decided upon by a senior under the guidance of a physician and trusted loved ones. Until that day comes, seniors can use these tips to increase their safety when they head out on the road.
Keep Up with Vision and Hearing Screenings
Over time, age-related vision and hearing loss can contribute to challenges for seniors who drive. For instance, your loved one may no longer be able to read road signs clearly. Alternatively, unaddressed hearing loss could cause your loved one to miss critical warning sounds such as sirens. Make sure your loved one gets his or her hearing and vision screened according to a physician’s recommendations.
Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Lincoln seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care.
Take a Defensive Driving Course
Many seniors earned their license as young teenagers. While their experience is an asset for driving, it is common to forget basic safety strategies over the years. Encourage your loved one to refine his or her skills by enrolling in a defensive driving class designed for seniors.
Plan New Routes Beforehand
Today, construction projects such as road expansions and new freeways are constantly taking place all over the nation. Although this opens up conveniences such as new routes, it can get confusing for seniors who may have gotten used to the roads being the same way for many years. Show your loved one how to look up new routes using smartphone apps or GPS systems so he or she can identify potential road hazards before driving somewhere new. Planning the route also helps seniors identify safe places where they can stop if they need gas or encounter an issue with their car.
A professional caregiver can provide transportation, run errands, and help with a number of routine tasks. Lincoln, NE, home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Limit Distractions in the Vehicle
Seniors are just as vulnerable to distracted driving as anyone else. For this reason, they should try to limit distractions in their car. For example, they can put their cell phone in the back seat and turn down the radio so they can hear warning sounds in traffic. Seniors should also try to limit conversations with the other passengers when they drive. Paying more attention to the road helps older adults respond faster if they need to slow down or switch lanes to prevent an accident.
Use Caution with New Medications
The side effects generated by medications can alter driving abilities. Remind your loved one to avoid driving until understanding how a new medication affects him or her. If medication side effects prevent your loved one from driving, this does not mean your he or she has to stay home. Your loved one can arrange for professional transportation services to get where he or she wants to go until it is safe to drive on a new medication.
If your loved one is no longer able to drive safely, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Lincoln, NE, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Give us a call at (402) 261-5158 to learn about our flexible home care plans.