Driving issues don’t just begin overnight. Things change for your senior gradually over time and eventually, it becomes much more difficult for her to drive safely. When you understand what contributes to those problems, you can help her to find solutions more easily.
Her Brain Is Experiencing Changes
Cognitive changes mean that your senior doesn’t process the information that she takes in the same way that she used to. This can cause issues with her memory, with how she interprets directions, and difficulty recognizing familiar places. With extreme cognitive changes, driving becomes something that perhaps isn’t safe for your senior to do on her own any longer.
Her Senses Are Not Working as Well
Your elderly family member may also be experiencing changes with her senses. The biggest senses that your senior uses for driving include her hearing and her vision. When either of those senses isn’t working as well as they did in the past, that can leave your senior without the tools that she needs to be safe behind the wheel.
Her Muscles Hurt and Don’t Work as Well
Muscle stiffness and pain can directly affect your elderly family member’s ability to control the vehicle properly. When your senior’s muscles are too stiff, she may not be able to manipulate the pedals or turn the steering wheel the way she needs to. Another problem involves muscle tone itself. If she’s lost strength in her muscles and is losing muscle mass as well, that creates additional difficulties.
Her Spine and Neck Hurt
Your senior’s back and neck are crucial to the driving process. The spine is the core of the body, and your senior needs to be able to twist and turn her neck and spine to be able to see over her shoulder and to control the car. Problems with how her entire spine is functioning create problems driving.
Her Reflexes Don’t Work as Well
Another potentially damaging issue is when your elderly family member’s reflexes slow down. That can lead to her having difficulty reacting in time to situations occurring outside her car. She may not even notice that her reflexes aren’t functioning as well as they did even a year earlier.
Something to remember is that there are other options besides your senior driving on her own. Hiring senior care providers to take over the driving for her can be a way for her to go places just as often as she used to, in a safer manner.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Belmont, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care.
Call today: (415) 795-2203
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