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When Is It Time to Stop Driving?

Posted by Jennifer on March 20, 2012

One of the most difficult changes that comes with ageing is losing the ability to drive. Many adults enjoy the freedom and independence that driving offers, and dread giving up their keys and losing the ability to drive themselves. Because most seniors are so attached to the ability to drive, it can be hard to know when to stop driving, and even harder to admit it. Here are the signs that will let you know it’s time to stop driving:

  • Scratching or denting the car
  • Getting lost in familiar areas
  • Getting in, or nearly getting in an accident
  • Being stopped or ticketed by the police
  • A doctor recommendation that your health condition, eyesight, medications, etc. may put you at risk behind the wheel

If you know a senior that you think is taking a risk by driving, it can be very difficult to confront them. Depending on their health conditions, they may know themselves and make their own decision, for example someone with failing eyesight will most likely notice they can no longer drive. If, however, the senior suffers from dementia, it is an entirely different situation. Trying to convince someone that they can no longer drive if they don’t realise their health situation can be a very difficult conversation and it is recommended to ask a third party for help. A doctor or a neighborhood acquaintance might have an easier time convincing your senior loved one that they are no longer able to drive.

In most cities, adjusting to public transportation is easy enough for a senior to get around. However, if you or your senior loved one live in an area that is less accessible, they may become dependent on a friend or family member to drive them everywhere. If you are a caregiver for a senior who can no longer drive and finding the task too large for yourself, consider a part-time professional caregiver to drive your senior loved one to their appointments and errands.

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