Driving is the primary means of getting around for many people. However, it may pose a serious challenge, especially when elderly drivers are involved. Diminishing visibility coupled with increased frailty can cause all sorts of problems for an older driver.
If you’re worried about the safety of your elderly loved one behind the wheel, then it’s time to initiate a conversation about when to stop driving. Nevertheless, persuading an older driver to stop driving and hang up the keys isn’t as easy as it seems. Most of them might feel deprived of their freedom if they quit driving.
Generally, older drivers are considered to be the safest drivers simply because they don’t take risks like younger drivers might. Some take lessons on driving safety for seniors to improve their skills on the road as well. Seniors do have the highest fatality rate after teen drivers per mile driven, though, due to their increased frailty and inability to survive trauma. Tips for elderly drivers can be helpful, but starting the conversation about when to stop driving is your surest means of averting disaster and showing compassion to your loved one.
Signs a Senior Should Stop Driving
Driving is a complex process that requires all senses to function optimally. If your senior loved one is experiencing some level of deterioration in their senses, don’t hesitate to talk to them. Knowing the telltale physical signs is the first step to initiating a successful conversation. Some of the indicators you should consider include:
- Changes in vision
- Hearing loss
- Reduced cognition
- Frailty and decreased physical ability
Other noticeable signs include:
- Driving too slowly
- Multiple accidents
- Inability to drive at night
- Slower reflexes
- Inability to interpret road signs
How to Have the Conversation
It’s widely appreciated that talking with older drivers is a sensitive issue that may prove to be a herculean task. You must find a way to pass the message without compromising your relationship with your loved ones. Below are a few steps on how to handle this sensitive conversation:
1. Do It Early
Starting the conversation early is one of the best ways of reducing defensiveness and refusals. Besides listening to your views, your loved one will also be able to share their concerns openly, making the process much easier for you.
2. Handle Refusals
Be ready to handle refusals in an amicable manner. You can invite a close family friend to talk them through the benefits of giving up driving or have a physician explain to them the repercussions on their health.
3. Discuss the Alternatives
After convincing your loved one to give up driving, you must provide alternatives. Some of the best options include public transport, local community services or enlisting a reputable home care service.
Why Choose Active Home Care?
At Active Home Care, we care about the safety of your loved one behind the wheel. That’s why we’re more than willing to attend to all their transportation needs. We offer 24/7 services in Miami Beach, Aventura, Coral Gables, North Miami and other areas within Florida. Contact us for a free home visit today.