If your elderly family member wants to keep driving, paying closer attention to what’s going on with her health could be the ticket. Your senior may still have options, even if her health is keeping her from being as safe as she could be behind the wheel.
Chronic Health Concerns Are Getting Worse
The worst part about managing chronic health conditions is that when they’re ignored, they can get worse. They also have a bigger impact on other activities, like driving, than your senior might realize. Health issues like out-of-control diabetes can create physical and cognitive issues that are difficult and even unsafe to be facing while also driving. Keeping those health issues managed well can actually help your senior to continue driving.
She’s Losing Flexibility and Strength
Both strength and flexibility matter for safety behind the wheel, but that’s not always an obvious fact. Your senior is likely to notice the importance of one or both when she starts experiencing difficulties. Losing muscle tone or the ability to check over her shoulder for oncoming traffic makes driving far less safe than it should be. Starting an exercise plan can help to reverse some of those issues, but your senior should talk to her doctor first.
Her Senses Aren’t Functioning Well
When your elderly family member’s senses aren’t functioning the way she expects them to, that causes problems with all sorts of activities including driving. How well she sees and hears has an effect on how well her brain is able to take in vital information that she needs in order to drive safely. Having those vital senses tested can be a good way to gauge how much impact they’re having on her life.
Letting Someone Else Drive Could Help a Lot
If your elderly family member is finally realizing that there are certain circumstances that are affecting her ability to drive, either permanently or temporarily, having someone else do the driving may be the best answer. Elder care providers can take over for her, ensuring that she gets where she wants to go safely. This can be a big adjustment for her, though, so you’ll both need to be a little patient.
Your senior’s health affects more than just how she’s feeling. It also has a huge impact on how well she’s able to do so many other things that she’s used to doing. Driving safely also affects more than just her, so it’s important for her to understand her new limitations.