According to the CDC, senior drivers are involved in hundreds of thousands of accidents every year. While some of those collisions are completely out of their control, many are the result of age-related issues such as poor eyesight and slow reflexes. Even though those numbers are staggering, a large percentage of older adults can safely drive well into their senior years if they take a few precautions.
Regularly Test Hearing and Vision
Senses naturally decrease with age, and there may come a point when those impairments make driving unsafe. Seniors who would like to continue driving should schedule appointments with an optometrist and ENT doctor at least once a year. If your senior loved one’s senses have decreased, look into restorative devices like hearing aids and glasses. Some issues can easily be corrected if they are caught early.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality non-medical home care. Colorado Springs families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Address Chronic Health Conditions
Health issues can affect the ability to drive, and your loved one needs to take care of these issues if he or she wants to stay in the driver’s seat. Complications such as diabetes and seizures could make it extremely dangerous to drive if your loved one doesn’t take steps to minimize the symptoms. Seniors who have issues with their grip strength or dexterity might also benefit from using thicker wheel covers with plenty of grip.
It is important to be aware of physical and mental changes that your loved one is facing to ensure he or she is safe on the road. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Colorado Springs live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life.
Avoid Driving When There Is Limited Visibility
As your loved one’s eyesight begins to fade, he or she should avoid being out on the road when there is limited visibility, which includes dusk, nighttime, and during heavy storms. Regular maintenance such as replacing windshield wipers every few months, checking tires for excessive wear, and replacing headlight bulbs whenever they go out can make a car much safer to drive when there is limited visibility.
Drive When Traffic Is Light
There is a big difference between an afternoon drive across town and long trips through the middle of a busy city. When traffic is heavy, the sights and sounds can flood the senses and make it difficult to focus on driving. Traffic is generally the heaviest early in the morning, during lunchtime, and right after employees get out of work.
Enroll in a Defensive Driving Course
Many organizations around the country have defensive driving courses specifically for seniors who want to sharpen their skills. These courses are usually affordable, and some insurance providers even offer discounts to seniors who complete all of the classes. Most defensive driving courses take around 10 hours to complete, but some are as long as 20 hours. The courses can be scheduled in a single weekend or spread out over a few weeks.
If your senior loved one is no longer able to drive a vehicle safely, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide transportation. Find out how a Colorado Springs, CO, caregiver can help your senior loved one enjoy a higher quality of life by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. All of our professional respite and live-in caregivers are trained in comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care, and they can also assist seniors with basic daily tasks like exercise, cooking, bathing, and light housekeeping. To learn about our premier home care plans, give us a call at (719) 822-1229 today.