One of the most serious situations for some elderly individuals is that they tend to continue driving long after they should give up their license. It is not only a potentially unsafe situation for them and any passengers they have, but also for other drivers on the road. A senior who is still driving may very well be fully capable of being safe, but it is an elderly care consideration that every family should make to help keep their loved ones safe.
Struggling in traffic.
On average, elderly drivers tend to accelerate and drive much slower on roadways. Even though they may not be speeding, in certain situations they could actually be creating a more dangerous situation by driving slower.
Most interstates and highways have posted minimum speed limits. These are established so that other drivers on the road don’t get caught by surprise by extremely slow-moving traffic. On other secondary roads, someone who is driving extremely slow can actually pose a risk due to speeders coming up from behind.
Even though it doesn’t seem fair, driving below the speed limit puts others at risk thanks to reckless drivers. While this is not the most significant issue, it’s about reaction time.
If the senior is struggling in traffic and doesn’t react well to changes or other cars turning unexpectedly, it could cause a dangerous situation.
The panic mode.
The most common cause of accidents among seniors is that they panic. When a situation arises that causes the senior to realize they need to stop quick, they may actually hit the accelerator instead. This can pose a high risk to them and other people, including pedestrians.
Throughout the years there have been many stories about elderly drivers plowing through pedestrians or running into other traffic, and even driving into homes because they accidentally stepped on the accelerator when they meant to step on the break.
If you have concerns about your elderly loved one driving, it is time to sit down and talk to them about it. Giving up a driver’s license or losing it can often be considered a loss of independence. A driver’s license is a symbol of independence for many teenagers when they first get theirs. Losing it is also a symbol of the loss of independence.
If you believe that your elderly loved one should give up his or her driver’s license, talk to them about elder care services. They can still get around town and do many of the things that they still do, as long as they have someone who can drive them. Some elderly care providers do offer this service as well.
Sometimes elderly care means talking about the things that are to the toughest to discuss. August is National Traffic Awareness Month, so it is the best time to bring this topic up.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from the help of elderly care in Houston, TX contact At Your Side Home Care. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care service. Call (832) 271-1600 for more information.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Latest posts by Donna Wrabel, LMSW (see all)
- Seniors with Dementia: Dealing with the Challenges of Showering - July 18, 2017
- Age-related Macular Degeneration and Your Parent - July 12, 2017
- Tips for Caring for a Parent with Alzheimer’s - July 6, 2017