If your elderly loved one is still driving, he’s probably shared with you that although he’s comfortable driving, there are things about getting older that can make it more challenging. Whether it’s eyes that don’t adjust as well in darkness, slower reflexes, or other health reasons, you may worry that he’s not able to be as safe as possible while he’s driving.
Having a home care provider help provide transportation can be a great asset for your loved one. You might need to talk to your elderly loved one about when he feels the need to have someone else like his home care provider help with transportation and when he feels comfortable getting behind the wheel himself. There is a certain independence that comes with being able to drive a vehicle, so instead of completely taking away that privilege due to some concerns, work with your loved one to make sure he can still safely drive when he desires.
Here are five ways you can help him stay safe while driving:
- Upgraded Vehicle – If your loved one is driving a vehicle that is 10 years or older, it might be time for him to purchase a newer vehicle. One that has additional driving safeguards built in. Many new vehicles have backup cameras to help when putting the car in reverse, or lane-changing sensors that will alert him if another vehicle is in the lane he wants to switch to.
- Vehicle Maintenance – Once your loved one has a stable vehicle, helping him maintain his vehicle is paramount to his safety. The wheels need to be ready for all weather with good treads, windshield wipers should be working properly, and all of the lights should be functioning. These little maintenance repairs can keep your loved one safe.
- Eliminate Distractions – What distracts your loved one when he’s driving? Is it a conversation with the passenger? Perhaps a phone call? Maybe it’s changing the radio station. It’s important to help your loved one stay focused on his driving. You can help by not calling or texting when you know he’s on the road. If you’re riding with him, keep conversations (especially heated ones) to a minimum.
- Address Eye or Ear Issues – Good eyesight and the ability to hear emergency vehicles are important to staying safe while driving a car. Have your loved one attend all of his routine checkups to make sure he can see and hear well before he hits the road.
- Just Say No – Sometimes, driving may not be safe for your loved one. That might be at night for some and during inclement weather for others. Arranging a home care provider to help with rides after dark is a great way to make sure your loved one stays safe at night so he can continue to drive during the day.
The first week of December is Older Driver Safety Awareness Week. Use that time to discuss vehicle safety with your elderly loved one and their home care team.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care at Home in Berkeley, CA, please contact the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care today (415) 463-1400
Aviva In-Home Care provides exceptional senior home care in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo, Hillsborough, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Berkeley, Lafayette, Orinda, and surrounding areas.
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