Driving can be a big argument between caregivers and aging adults. You just want your senior to be safe, but she’s convinced that you’re trying to ground her. What might work is a compromise, but there have to be some guidelines in this compromise. Consider a few of these requirements in order to keep your elderly family member behind the wheel.
Get Hearing and Vision Checkups
If your elderly family member is having trouble with her hearing and her vision, that’s going to make driving that much more difficult for her. Resisting these checkups because she’s worried about what the results might be can do her more harm than good. If she’s willing to agree to yearly exams, that can be good enough for her to be able to safely drive, which meets needs that both of you have in this discussion.
Talk to Her Doctor
Besides vision and hearing, your elder’s overall health is vital to her ability to continue to drive. If her muscle tone is diminishing too much, it might be difficult for her to be able to safely control the car. Flexibility allows her to continue to look over her shoulder in order to spot oncoming traffic. Other health issues might also be a factor.
Make Sure She’s Well-rested
Exhaustion can make your senior unpredictable behind the wheel. Lack of sleep can slow her reaction time and create other issues, like keeping her brain foggy. Address any sleep problems with her doctor so you can rule out underlying health causes. From there, simple sleep hygiene might be the answer. Talk to her doctor about ways to adjust her sleep habits in a positive way.
The Car Needs Regular Maintenance, Too
Besides all of the things your senior needs to do for herself, she also needs to make sure that the car is in good working condition. Part of your arrangement might involve you doing the maintenance for her to ensure it’s safe. Regardless, if the car hasn’t been serviced, it might not be a good idea for her to be driving it at all.
All of these concessions might help your senior to stay in the driver’s seat for a little bit longer. If she’s willing to compromise, then it might be a good idea to hire elder care providers to drive on her bad days. That way she can see that you’re not trying to clip her wings in any way.