From the time a person first earns their driver’s license in their teens, driving represents independence that also comes with the responsibility of making sure others stay safe. However, there sometimes comes a time when a senior adult may no longer be able to operate a motor vehicle safely on the road. For this reason, a senior driving assessment should be conducted regularly to help senior adults and their families determine if a person still has the necessary skills to continue driving safely on public roads. As a leading provider of live-in home care in Centennial, we wanted to provide what should be covered when performing a senior driving assessment:
Current Physical Health
Seniors with vision loss, a history of seizures and those who take medication that affects driving ability may not be safe driving independently. In instances where a family is not sure how their loved one’s health affects their driving, a physician may be able to make a qualified judgment that the senior will accept.
Ability to Navigate Safely Through Traffic
Family members can ride along with their senior loved one to observe how they operate the vehicle and traffic and use a checklist to identify these essential driving skills.
- Follow road signs
- Signal when turning
- Apply brakes appropriately
- Merge safely onto the freeway
- Wear safety belt
Management of Emotions
During the ride-along, family members should also observe how a senior reacts to common traffic situations. Do they exhibit nervousness at intersections or grow angry during heavy traffic? These are signs that driving may have become too stressful, and a strong emotional reaction can lead to an accident.
If a family or senior adult determines that driving is no longer safe, there are things that can be cone to reassure a senior that they will still be able to live independently. Transportation services can be arranged to ensure the senior has a safe way to visit friends, run errands or attend medical appointments. Additionally, professional caregivers can be utilized to take the senior to all of their favorite places so they can still maintain the same quality of life without sacrificing safety.
Although talking about driving with an aging parent or loved one can be a difficult task, it is one that is instrumental in keeping them safe on the road, while also protecting the safety of others. Click here to visit our website where you can find out more information about senior safety and elderly in-home care or contact us directly at 303-957-3100.