How Can I Tell When My Elderly Parent Need to Quit Driving?

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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 and 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 diseases 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.

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Fort Worth, TX, families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.

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 stalls at green lights, fails to stop at stop signs, or trails other vehicles too closely, it may be time to take the car 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

If your loved one is having difficulty driving because of vision, hearing, or cognitive issues, he or she may get into accidents that cause noticeable vehicular damage, 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 Fort Worth senior 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. The insurance provider will generally have this information, and as 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. Fort Worth 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. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give Home Care Assistance a call at (817) 720-5556 today.