How Is Aging Affecting Your Loved One’s Ability to Drive?
Many different factors can influence whether your loved one should be driving or not. One of the most pervasive can be simple aging.
Her Vision or Hearing Aren’t as Good as They Were.
When your loved one’s vision and hearing decline, it can be gradual and she may be able to compensate. Eventually, she may be having significant trouble and may not fully realize that fact. Your loved one really needs to be able to hear what is going on around her and see obstacles so that she’s able to make the right decisions behind the wheel.
Your Loved One’s Joints Make Driving Difficult.
But it’s not just being able to see and hear properly. If your loved one’s joints are too sore to move the way that she needs them to move, she’s not going to be able to operate the car properly. Arthritis can be a tremendous problem when it comes to driving, especially if the senior finds that temperatures and weather patterns affect how her joints feel.
Your Loved One’s Motor Skills Have Declined.
Even without painful joints, your loved one may have difficulty with her motor skills. This can mean that her body simply doesn’t move the way that it used to and she’s not able to maneuver the way that she should in order to drive safely.
Reaction Times Aren’t What They Once Were.
Driving is all about being able to respond quickly to what is going on around you. As your elderly family member ages, her reaction time is not what it used to be. That can mean that even if your loved one sees a situation that she needs to avoid, she might not be able to move fast enough.
Other Health Conditions.
There can be a host of other health conditions that affect a senior’s driving, too. Some diabetics experience issues with decision-making when their blood sugar gets too high or too low, for example. Or your loved one might get lightheaded due to blood pressure issues, affecting her ability to concentrate and to drive safely.
Try hiring elder care providers to drive for your loved one. She may find that having an option other than driving for herself makes her life so much easier.