In the winter months, driving conditions tend to be more dangerous due to rainy or snowy roads. For seniors, age-related changes in vision, mobility, and reaction time can limit driving abilities, making it even more difficult to drive safely on slippery roads. Here are 6 tips for safe driving that are important for a senior’s safety and that of others.
Get Regular Health Checkups
Monitor changes in your senior loved one’s vision, hearing, and mobility by making sure he or she gets regular medical checkups. If your loved one’s primary physician or optometrist notices changes, be proactive by encouraging your loved one to follow the recommended advice for glasses, hearing aids, or other support devices. It’s also important to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and to be aware of any medications your loved one is taking, as they may affect his or her driving abilities.
If your loved one is no longer able to operate a vehicle safely, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide transportation. Dallas in-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Encourage your loved one to adopt a fitness regimen to ensure his or her physical ability to drive. One of the most common mistakes older adults make is forgetting to check blind spots, so help your parent practice exercises that strengthen range of motion in the neck so your loved one is comfortable turning his or her head. Your loved one can also practice yoga or try back-strengthening exercises so he or she is able to endure sitting while driving, though it may be best to avoid lengthy car rides.
Aging adults who need help around the house and assistance with transportation can benefit from having in-home caregivers. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Dallas elder care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Keep the Car in Good Working Condition
Regular services, tune-ups, and oil changes will ensure your loved one’s car stays in tip-top shape. In addition, make sure windshields, mirrors, and headlights are clean and that the brightness on the dashboard’s instrument panel is turned all the way up to increase visibility when driving at night.
Seniors should avoid driving in dangerous weather conditions or during the evening hours when it’s dark outside. These conditions may impair visibility and increase the chances of unforeseen obstacles and delays such as accidents, road closures, or heavy traffic. Older drivers should also plan their routes ahead of time so they won’t need to use GPS devices or look at maps while driving.
Take a Refresher Course
Organizations like AAA believe driving is a skill that should be continually worked on, and they offer driver refresher courses to the public. These courses bring drivers up to speed on the latest advancements in vehicle technology and offer information on how they can affect driving and even qualify drivers for potential discounts on insurance premiums.
Be Aware of Limitations
Be aware of your loved one’s limitations and encourage avoiding any situations that make him or her feel uncomfortable or unsafe. For instance, if your loved one’s hands hurt when turning the wheel, try using a wheel cover that’s softer and can be easily gripped. By knowing your loved one’s limitations, you can be proactive about reducing the risk factors to ensure his or her safety and the safety of others on the road.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Dallas seniors can depend on. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at (214) 363-3400 today.