Having a conversation with your parents about no longer driving can be a difficult conversation to have. Starting the conversation as soon as possible will be the best way to protect your parents, and the other drivers on the road. According to AAA, senior drivers who are over 80 years old, have the highest death rate in car accidents.
As your parents age, their reflexes slow down, their eyesight is not as good, and their minds are not as sharp as they used to be. These will affect the overall safety of them and others while they are at the wheel of their car.
When is the right time to take the keys away from them? It is time when they are unsafe for them to be behind the wheel of the car, is it safe for them to be still living at home?
Take The Car Keys Away From Senior Drivers
Discover the risks of senior driving, signs your parent is unsafe behind the wheel, elderly driver’s license renewal regulations, and how to potentially make a difficult conversation a little easier.
For senior drivers, age-related factors and their health conditions can make it unsafe for them to continue to drive. Senior drivers are more susceptible to driving-related fatalities.
Signs When Seniors Are Not Safe To Drive
There are some obvious signs that your parents should no longer be driving if they are having difficulty with their sight, their hearing, or their memory, this is the time to let your parents drive any longer.
If your parents are getting lost when they are driving familiar routes, getting moving violations, having accidents, or having difficulties recognizing the street signs.
These are all clear signs that it is time to take the keys away from them, to protect themselves and the others on the road.
Your parents decline in their mental health or physical health, can be problematic for them to continue to drive, their mental state of mind may make them unfit to continue to drive, if they are agitated, aggressive, confused, forgetful or not as coordinated, this can make them unable to operate a vehicle.
When Senior Drivers Should Stop Driving
When seniors should stop driving when they have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimers, or if they are noticing early stages of dementia.
If your parents are taking some prescription drugs, some of them can cause drowsiness, and affect their reactions and driving skills.
Are your parents active? If your parents are no longer active, the inactivity can reduce their reactions and agility, this can also cause their coordination to suffer.
If your parents are having difficulty hearing and seeing, this is a major problem, as they will endanger everyone on the road.
Senior Driving Test
The senior driving test will vary from state to state, but they will be required to take a written test, a vision test, and a driving test, some states require an eye exam every 5 years.
Some states will require senior citizens to renew their license in person, so the DMV can look for any health conditions that may prevent them from getting their driver’s license.
Generally speaking, seniors need to renew their driver’s license more often, so that the DMV can verify if there are any serious health issues to prevent them from keeping their license.
Warning Signs To Watch Out For
When your parents start to age it is important to check for potential warning signs at home, it is also a good idea to observe them during different times of the day.
When you drive with them, you should check to see if they can manage the vehicle properly, also try to drive with them on a regular basis.
When you get in the car with them be aware if they use the seatbelts, stay in the correct lane, do they use their turn signals, are distracted, and how you feel while they are driving you.
Check Their Vehicle For Damage
You should check your parent’s car, to see if there are scrapes or dents on it. this can be a good indicator if they are having issues when they are driving.
Checking their driving record to see if they have had any accidents, fender benders, or moving violations, can all be signs that your parents driving skills are deteriorating.
Get Expert Advice About Your Elderly Driver
if you are not sure if your parent should continue to drive, you can get some expert advice from a drive rehabilitation expert, they will be able to assess your parent’s cognitive health, hearing, and overall motor skills. They can also do an on-road driving assessment.
You can find a driving rehabilitation expert from the American Occupational Therapy organization, they have a list of multiple different driving experts.
Consult with your parent’s doctor as well, ask their doctor if they think that your parents is still in good enough health to continue to drive.
Senior Driver Safety
If the time is right to take the keys away for your parent to keep them safe and the other drivers on the road, there are alternatives for their transportation needs.
Using services like Uber or Lyft can make it easy for them to go where ever they want, without the risk of driving. Also the National Aging And Disability Transportation Center also has a list of additional senior transportation options.
If your parents are still able to drive safely, then it is important to check out their vehicle to make sure that it is safe for them to use. If your parent has a disability, make sure that their vehicle is properly adapted to their needs.
Having your parents take a driving class for seniors, can also be a good way to share your parent’s mind and their motor skills. There are senior driving courses that provide safety tips, and other driving topics that are related to senior driving safety.
Conclusion About Not Letting Your Parents Drive
It is important to have a conversation with your parent about them no longer driving, it is important to have good communication with them, it can be a difficult conversation, but it is important to remind them that it is for their safety and the safety of the other people on the road.
Discuss all of the factors with them, medications, cognitive skills, reactions, and reflexes, so they fully understand why it is no longer safe for them to drive.
Assisted living communities do provide full-time care and safety for seniors, and they also provide transportation for shopping, doctor’s appointments, or whenever they would need transportation.
Here at Loving Assisted Living, we can help you to find a senior home that would be the best fit for your loved one, contact us today, we are here for you.page-2