Your senior’s driving is something that you’ll eventually need to talk to her about. But is there a way for you to tell that you need to know more now? The clues might be bigger than you think they are.
Her Vision Is Changing in General
If your elderly family member can’t see, that’s a huge problem in terms of driving. Even if you’re not noticing any other signs of driving difficulties, big changes to your senior’s vision are a red flag. If she’s having difficulty seeing to walk, she’s definitely having trouble seeing to drive.
Your Senior’s Car Is Looking Rough
Checking out the car itself can tell you quite a bit. What you’re looking for are damages, like dings or scrapes, that weren’t there before. If you’re not in the habit of examining your senior’s car, you might want to start making that a habit. It will help you to spot changes more quickly.
She Mentions that Driving Is Stressful
Listen for signs that your elderly family member finds driving to be stressful or more difficult now. She might be subtle about it, but if she mentions that she can’t listen to people talking while she’s driving, that’s a sign of trouble. Other signs could be things like being more irritated about driving or seeming to have more trouble planning out her routes.
She’s Visibly Nervous about Driving
When your senior mentions driving, does she look nervous? If driving has become significantly difficult for your elderly family member, she may be upset and uncertain behind the wheel. She might even make excuses to avoid driving as much as she can.
She’s Had Close Calls or Actual Accidents
On the more concerning end of the spectrum, your senior might have had some close calls or even some minor wrecks. These are important because they are a sign that driving has become more difficult and will only continue to do so. Minor accidents and close calls are a big wakeup call that your senior needs to make some changes.
As much as you might want to you can’t just take your senior’s keys away from her. You need to offer her other options so that she’s still able to go where she wants and do what she needs to do. Hiring a caregiver to help her with things like driving is a solution that can work for both of you.