~ by Kathi Ridner, Care Manager, One Senior Place Care Management ~

Although unsafe driving is an uncomfortable topic to broach, having open and honest discussions over time will help older adults weigh the pros and cons, allow them to decide to drive less, avoid certain road conditions, or to stop driving altogether (if it’s time).  Older drivers are typically safe as a group.  This is reflected in statistics, and is due in large part to the fact that many seniors have self-imposed limitations, such as driving fewer miles, avoiding night driving, rush hour traffic, and other challenging conditions.  However, after the age of 75, drivers have a higher risk of being involved in a collision for every mile they drive.  The real question we must ask – “Is my mom/ dad/ husband/ wife a safe driver?” or “Am I a safe driver?” – A tough, but necessary question.

The loss of driving creates a negative result – fewer trips outside the home, increased dependency on others, a feeling of becoming a burden, fewer social opportunities (isolation).  So, it’s understandable that an older driver will express strong emotion when the topic is brought up – feelings of sadness or depression, sometimes anger.  It’s important to be respectful and calm when having a conversation about the driving skills of an older adult – this will ensure a productive discussion and can help to diffuse negative emotions.

There are many circumstances that can affect the abilities of an older driver: medications, vision and hearing loss, mental and physical decline, pain, mobility and flexibility restrictions, and slower reaction times.  It’s important to be realistic and honest about this decline and whether these conditions affect the skills of the older driver.

Tips for Families:

Learn the warning signs of driving problems by observing the older driver over time – are they able to follow the speed limit, stay within the designated lanes, come to a complete stop at traffic signals and stop signs, do they get lost or confused?  Do they ride the brake, park inappropriately, hit curbs, get easily distracted or get agitated or irritated, are there scrapes or dents on the car, mailbox or garage? 

Discuss your concerns with the doctor – some doctors will take an active role in assessing a driver’s skills and will offer an opinion, other doctors will refer a patient to a driving specialist for a comprehensive driving evaluation.

Investigate the alternatives for driving limitations – consider how to satisfy the social and transportation needs when driving becomes limited or is no longer an option. 

Be supportive – it’s not easy to transition from driver to passenger.

Opportunities for Conversations about Driving:

Acknowledge and compliment self-imposed restrictions – when a driver imposes self-regulation like limiting night driving, or only driving close to home, compliment their honesty and be supportive to provide for their transportation needs. 

New medications – many medications have a sedative effect that can prevent a person from processing information quickly.  A discussion with the doctor can inform the driver, and family members, of additional need for caution when driving or even limiting driving while taking the medication.

A close call – a minor accident or narrowly avoiding an accident should trigger a conversation.  Even in situations when the older drive is not at fault, there could be a diminishing ability to drive defensively.

Getting lost – getting lost while driving in a familiar place may suggest cognitive health issues that should be addressed with a doctor.

In a perfect world, each one of us would know exactly when we should no longer drive and turn in our Driver’s License.  However, limiting or giving up driving is a very difficult decision.  Sensitivity toward the feelings of older drivers, honest discussions, and appropriate solutions for transportation can provide the older driver and their family peace of mind and an ability to make this transition when the time is right.

скачать ботов для кс cheatkod.ru смотреть скачать ботов для counter strike