Discussing your aging loved one’s driving days coming to an end is not easy; yet, it is a meaningful and necessary conversation. Your loved one might express frustration towards giving up the freedom to drive, but ultimately it is safer for them and others on the road. It is common for older adults to have slow reaction times and hearing or vision problems. Other than health issues, how can you tell you need to take on driving? The best approach is to look for warning signs before the conversation. This way, you will know if you need to insist on talking about it because there are real reasons to be worried, or are you off base, and their driving skills are still going strong? Here are a few signs.
Their Car Has New Scrapes or Dents
Look over your loved one’s car. Do you see any fresh dents or scrapes? Is there any damage near their garage, garden, or mailbox? Any dents or scrapes on their vehicle indicate they could be misjudging the space around them. You should also try to find out if they recently received a ticket or traffic warning. Did their auto insurance increase for any reason? If so, discuss this with your loved one.
Driving has Become Mentally Difficult
Look for signs that your loved one seems agitated or tired while driving. This could indicate they are having a tough time. Often the cause of their irritation could be because of a hindering physical disability. Here are a few signs that indicate driving might have become stressful for them:
- They get lost easily, even in familiar areas.
- They struggle turning the car around or backing up.
- They have trouble seeing traffic signals or road signs.
- They mix up the brake and gas pedals or press both at the same time.
- They respond slowly to unexpected situations.
- Other drivers honk at your loved one because of their driving.
They Have Too Many Close Calls
A sure sign your parent/grandparents’ driving skills are declining is they have had too many narrowly missed accidents. Sometimes, this happens due to misjudging gaps in traffic, misreading traffic signals or road signs, or underestimating the speed of oncoming cars.
Driving can be risky business. It is best to be proactive when assessing your parent’s driving. They may worry losing their ability to drive can make them a burden or make them feel less independent. Encourage and support them by talking to them about their alternate transportation options. There are many options for getting around town, such as the help of family members, riding services, or public transportation.
If you notice your loved one having a tough time getting around the house or neighborhood, visit our website. At Next Day Access, we specialize in accessibility devices, home modifications, mobility equipment, and more. Our goal is to help keep your loved ones safe and comfortable at home and on the go. Contact us for a free in-home safety consultation.