According to the CDC’s 2015 statistics, over 40 million U.S. drivers were over the age of 65. This age group was also in over 236,000 crashes, leading to an excess of 5,700 deaths. To prevent crashes and fatalities occurring from crashes, it’s important to know when it’s time to take your parent’s car keys away.
In 2003, an elderly California man became confused and hit the accelerator instead of the brake. He drove his car more than two blocks through a busy farmers’ market and killed 10 shoppers. It’s situations like this that make it so vital for you to monitor your parent’s driving skills and know when it’s time to take away the keys.
Signs You Should Look For
If your mom or dad’s reaction times start slowing down, driving may not be advisable. If your parent has a hard time moving his or her foot to the brake pedal in a timely manner, it’s no longer safe to drive.
Memory issues also are something to monitor. If your aging parent becomes easily confused as to where he or she is or how to get back home, your parent shouldn’t be driving.
Vision issues are another sign that it’s no longer safe to drive. If your parent has a hard time seeing objects at night, it’s time to stop driving. Peripheral vision is another important factor that a doctor can test.
Many prescription medications make it harder to drive safely. If your parent is on a medication that causes drowsiness or dizzy spells, take away his or her keys.
Finally, your parent must be able to check his or her blind spot. If your parent can’t turn his or her head easily, it’s time to stop driving.
Tips for Taking Away Driving Privileges
To prevent bitter feelings, enlist the help of a doctor to make sure your parent knows the time has come to give up driving. Parents may not respond well to having their adult child become a parental figure, so it’s often best to incorporate a professional. This can be as simple as having an eye doctor state that it’s no longer safe to drive before sunrise or after dusk. A medical doctor will be able to state underlying health issues, such as dizziness or cognitive issues, that make it unsafe to keep driving.
Losing the ability to drive doesn’t have to take away your parent’s sense of freedom. Home care agencies offer services where caregivers provide transportation. Talk to your parent about having caregivers come to the home on a regular schedule to take your mom or dad out to stores, businesses, or entertainment venues.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of a caregiver in Plainview, NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
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